Mar de Lágrimas (Sea of Tears)

Object Details


Mar de Lágrimas (Sea of Tears)


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


24.3 x 17.5 cm (9 9/16 x 6 7/8 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Photographed in Cuyutlán on the Pacific coast of the state of Colima, this cross may have symbolized for Manuel Alvarez Bravo the arrival of the Spaniards, and of Christianity, in the 1500s. Alvarez Bravo called this image Sea of Tears, perhaps alluding to the many tears shed by the Aztecs as they saw their numbers decrease in the wake of European wars and diseases. The driftwood in the foreground suggests a writhing human form, collapsed as if in sorrow at the foot of a cross.


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

Sociedad de Arte Moderno. Fotografías, exh. cat. (México: D.F. Sociedad de Arte Moderno, 1945), p. 67.

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. 77.

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

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986), pl. 77.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Recuerdo de Unos Años, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992), cover.