Retrato de lo Eterno

Object Details


Retrato de lo Eterno


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


24.3 x 19.2 cm (9 9/16 x 7 9/16 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/ Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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The expression on Isabel Villaseñor's partially lit face reveals a moment of psychological complexity, when, gazing into her small mirror, she appears caught between vanity and insecurity. Artist, poet, singer, and songwriter, Villaseñor was a remarkable personality and talent in post-revolutionary Mexico. Manuel Alvarez Bravo's image affords a voyeuristic view of a private moment. Though Villaseñor remains modestly clothed, her long hair cascades around her, symbolizing intimacy and sexual assent.


Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Mexican, 1902 - 2002

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
Farewell to Surrealism: The Dyn Circle in Mexico (October 2, 2012 to April 14, 2013) (Displayed from exhibition opening through 2/25/13. Removed from gallery 2/25/13 and replaced with "Portrait of the Eternal" photograph (2008.88.4).)
  • The Getty Research Institute, (Los Angeles), October 2, 2012 to April 14, 2013

Witken-Berley, Ltd. Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Roslyn Heights, N.Y.: Witkin-Berley, Ltd., 1980) p. 8.

Paz, Octavio and A. Muñoz, ed. Instante y Revelación (México: Circulo Editorial, 1982)

Salas Pablo Ruíz Picasso. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985) pl. 99.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986) pl. 61.

Galerie Sonia Zannettacci. L'oeil du Minotaure: Ubac, Brassaï, Alvarez Bravo, Bellmer, Man Ray, exh. cat. (Genève: Sonia Zannettacci, 1987)

Del Conde, Teresa. Mucho Sol (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989) p. 35.