Fable of the Dog and the Cloud/[Fábula del Perro y de la Nube]

Object Details


Fable of the Dog and the Cloud/[Fábula del Perro y de la Nube]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)




1930 - 1940


Gelatin silver print


16.7 x 22.7 cm (6 9/16 x 8 15/16 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Paul Strand eloquently described Manuel Alvarez Bravo's work as "rooted firmly in his love and compassionate understanding of his own country, its people, their problems and their needs." For Strand, Alvarez Bravo had mastered the medium of photography and used it "to speak with warmth about Mexico."

Like many of Alvarez Bravo's photographs, this image illustrates the day-to-day struggle--and resourcefulness--of Mexico's poor. The ramshackle setting is the residence and workplace of a scrap collector, who has assembled a collection of artifacts in the hopes of attracting a potential buyer. Alvarez Bravo's title, Fable of the Dog and the Cloud, draws attention to the only two elements in the image that are capable of movement, implying that the collector's stagnant goods will remain unsold.


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 "Maternity" photograph (2003.507.32).)
  • The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), October 2, 2012 to April 14, 2013

Sociedad de Arte Moderno. Fotografías, exh. cat. (México: D.F. Sociedad de Arte Moderno, 1945), p. 69.