Visitation to the Dead

Object Details


Visitation to the Dead


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


19.4 x 24 cm (7 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Seated under the arch of a deteriorating cemetery wall, this group of women and children waits to honor their deceased relatives by visiting their graves. Death, as viewed by Mexico's indigenous people, is a continuation of life, a time when one becomes truly awake. The eroding wall and barren tree branches nonetheless convey an atmosphere of foreboding. Manuel Alvarez Bravo's image is not about the celebrations that are held for the dead, but about the longing that accompanies the passage from life to death.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Recuerdo de unos años (September 22 to December 6, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), September 22 to December 6, 1992
Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables (November 13, 2001 to February 9, 2003)
  • 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. 80.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986) pl. 111.