Pilgrim of The Things of This Life
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© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Mexican, 1942
Gelatin silver print
7 7/16 x 8 15/16 in.

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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.