The Eclipse/[El eclipse]

Object Details


The Eclipse/[El eclipse]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)




negative 1933; print 1974


Gelatin silver print


18.7 × 24.1 cm (7 3/8 × 9 1/2 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Emulating the pose of a Flamenco dancer, this woman dramatically turns her head sideways and upwards, while extending one arm high up in the air. Holding a black, sheer cloth over her face and shielding her eyes from the strong Mexican sun, she enacts Manuel Alvarez Bravo's conception of an eclipse.
At the same time, light bounces off the hanging white sheets, saturating the off-center areas of the photograph.

Alvarez Bravo made many images of linens and clotheslines, exploring the interplay between draped fabric and angular architecture. Here, the addition of a figure, seemingly engaged in a performance, adds mystery and animation to an otherwise formal study.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables (November 13, 2001 to February 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 17, 2002
  • Museo Nacional de Arte (Mexico City), March 14 to June 2, 2002
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), November 10, 2002 to February 9, 2003

Salas Pablo Ruíz Picasso. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985), pl. 98, p. 136.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986), # 50 (titled here "Sábanas"/"Les draps").