Pilgrim of The Things of This Life

Object Details


Pilgrim of The Things of This Life


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


18.9 x 22.7 cm (7 7/16 x 8 15/16 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Artists have traditionally depicted leisurely figures strolling through parks and along scenic promenades such as Paris streets, but here Manuel Alvarez Bravo shows a different kind of wanderer, one he calls a "pilgrim." Walking along a gritty urban street, a solitary transient clutches a walking stick. His path is not embellished by rolling hills, trees, lakes, or streams; nor is it enhanced by cafes and boutiques. Dirt, concrete, corrugated tin, and rubbish mark the journey of this Pilgrim of the Things of This Life. His solemn expression and purposeful stride suggest that his may not be a pursuit for material reward so much as a quest for spiritual fulfillment.


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. 73.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986), pl. 122.

Del Conde, Teresa. Mucho Sol (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989), p. 57.