The Crouched Ones / [Los Agachados]

Object Details


The Crouched Ones / [Los Agachados]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)




Mexico (Place created)




Gelatin silver print


17.8 x 23.8 cm (7 x 9 3/8 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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With their backs to the camera and their faces hidden in the shadows of a partly rolled-up metal curtain, these anonymous workers sit at a lunch counter during a brief respite from work. Shoeshine boxes and paint-splattered overalls reveal the hard manual labor they are engaged in. The stools, chained to each other and to the counter, suggest the constraints and limited opportunities of the laborer's world.

The working class and its arduous toil were important issues to Manuel Alvarez Bravo, whose depiction of everyday subjects often made them appear extraordinary. His title for this photograph, The Crouched Ones, may seem odd, given that none of the figures is visibly crouched over. Alvarez Bravo viewed the act of crouching as a defense mechanism of Mexicans, "who can fold their body and soul into this humble position and still retain their pride and integrity."


Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Mexican, 1902 - 2002


Lester Burbank Bridaham (Chicago, Illinois), purchased directly from photographer.


Michael G. Wilson (London, England and Los Angeles, California), purchased from Bridaham.

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)
  • 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
Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910 - 1940 (July 6 to September 29, 2013) (64)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), July 6 to September 29, 2013

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum), fig. 4.

Sociedad de Arte Moderno. Fotografías, exh. cat. (México: D.F. Sociedad de Arte Moderno, 1945), p. 71.

Pasadena Art Museum and Fred R. Parker. Manuel Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Pasadena, Calif: Pasadena Art Museum, 1971), p. 30.

Livingston, Jane. M Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Boston, Mass.: D. R. Godine; Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1978), pl. 42.

Academia de Artes. Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Mexico: Academia de Artes, 1980), p. 37.

Perez, Nissan N. Dreams--Visions--Metaphors: The Photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, exh. catalogue, essay by Ian Jeffrey (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1983), pl. 31.

Salas Pablo Ruíz Picasso. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985), pl. 59.

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