Que Chiquito es el Mundo
Manuel Alvarez Bravo grew up during the Mexican Revolution (1910−20), a formative period that strengthened his sense of kinship with his homeland. During this time he was introduced to the medium of photography, and he bought his first camera in 1924. Initially working in the Pictorialist tradition, Alvarez Bravo started to experiment with abstract compositions in the late 1920s. In 1927 he befriended the Italian photographer Tina Modotti, who had been living and working in Mexico since 1923, and he later took over her job as a staff photographer at the magazine Mexican Folkways. This post helped him cultivate his own vision, as he developed emblematic themes of Mexican identity blended with unconscious imagery reflecting dreams and chance.
In this photograph, Alvarez Bravo uses the everyday to create a compelling vision of Mexico’s urban landscape. The horizontal expanse of wall centers the layered composition, separating the world above from the one below. Two figures, seemingly unaware of each other, pass on the empty street, while stark white laundry hangs in the domestic space above, its brightness creating a link to the woman’s package below. Despite the solidity of the wall, the passersby and flowing fabric suggest the ephemerality of this fleeting moment.
Gelatin silver photograph
image: 7 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (18.4 x 24.1 cm)
sheet: 7 7/8 x 9 7/8 in. (20 x 25.1 cm) (show scale)
Signed in graphite on lower right of verso: "M. Alvarez Bravo"
Gift of William Berley
This item is not on view
Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002). Que Chiquito es el Mundo, 1942. Gelatin silver photograph, image: 7 1/4 x 9 1/2 in. (18.4 x 24.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of William Berley, 79.294.15. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.294.15_PS1.jpg)
overall, 79.294.15_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
© Colette Urbajtel/Asociación Manuel Álvarez Bravo
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email email@example.com
and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.