The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Day Dream / El ensueño

Object Details


The Day Dream / El ensueño


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



21.9 × 14.3 cm (8 5/8 × 5 5/8 in.)


© Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, S.C.

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Object Description

Dreams are a frightening and dangerous state during which the dreamer is most vulnerable. Dreaming is an escape into a different world, into the unknown.

This statement, by a historian who interviewed Manuel Alvarez Bravo, relays some of the ideas the artist may have considered while making this wistful portrait of young girl standing on a balcony with the sunlight innocently caressing her right shoulder. Perhaps Alvarez Bravo was trying to guess the girl's thoughts, as she stood immersed in her reverie, clearly unaware of his presence and indeed vulnerable to his camera. The dream world was of great importance to the Surrealists, whose work influenced Alvarez Bravo. Many of his early images explore the themes of sleep, dreams, and eroticism.


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

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. 56.

Pasadena Art Museum and Fred R. Parker. Manuel Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Pasadena, Calif: Pasadena Art Museum, 1971), p. 29.

Livingston, Jane. M Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Boston, Mass.: D. R. Godine; Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1978), pl. 62.

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. 2.

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

Del Conde, Teresa. Mucho Sol (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989), p. 25.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Recuerdo de Unos Años, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992), fig. 1.