"La Leyenda de los Volcanes" by Jesus Helguera
This painting is on display in the permanent collection of Chicago's National Museum of Mexican Art. Here is the legend:
The Legend of the Volcanoes Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatépetl
At the beginning of history, when the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Anahuac, before the mountains had reached their permanent form, a beautiful princess named Mixtli was born, in the city of Tenochtitlan. She was the daughter of Tizoc, the Tlatoani Emperor of the Mexicas. Mixtli was sought after by numerous noblemen, among them Axooxco, a cruel and bloodthirsty man, who demanded the hand of Mixtli in marriage. However, Mixtli's heart belonged instead to a humble peasant named Popoca. Popoca went into battle, to conquer the title of Caballero Aguila. If he claimed this title of nobility, Popoca would be able to fight Axooxco for the hand of Mixtli.
Mixtli knew the danger Popoca was in, and then, wrongly, heard that he was killed. But in fact, Popoca was returning victorious. Not realizing this, Mixtli killed herself, rather than live without Popoca. When Popoca returned to find Mixtli dead, he picked her up and carried her body into the mountains. Hoping that the cold snow would wake her from sleep, reuniting them alive, Popoca stayed at her feet, bent over, watching for her to come awake.
They have remained there ever since, and the body of Mixtli has become the volcano Ixtaccihuatl (the Sleeping Woman), the ever-watchful Popoca has become the volcano Popocatépetl(the Smoking Mountain), and Axooxco has become the Cerro Ajusco (the highpoint of the Distrito Federal). Ever since, these volcanoes have towered above the city of Mexico. The romantic legend of this couple has been passed on, ever since the Pre-Columbian era, and so now the people of Mexico know the origin of these magnificent volcanoes.