Cemetery Wall/[Barda de Panteon]

Object Details


Cemetery Wall/[Barda de Panteon]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)




negative 1967; print 1974


Gelatin silver print


24.3 × 18.4 cm (9 9/16 × 7 1/4 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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This crumbling, whitewashed, cemetery speaks of the human need to erect boundaries, a persistent theme in Manuel Alvarez Bravo's photographs. The wall's foundation, which seems as firmly rooted as the tree growing in the distance, suggests stability and permanence, but its decay signals the ephemeral nature of material things. In this image, Alvarez Bravo used the collapsing wall as a metaphor for the transience of life, a message that a vault inside the cemetery's boundaries somberly reinforces.

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

Trueblood, Beatrice. Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Photographies 1928-1968, exh. cat. (Mexico City: Comité Organizador de los Juegos de la XIX Olimpiada, Departamento de Publicaciones, 1968), p. 22.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986), # 187.