About This Artwork

Hugo Brehme
German, active in Mexico, 1882–1954

Emiliano and Eufemio Zapata with their Wives, 1911, printed 1970s

Gelatin silver print
40.5 x 50.7 cm (image/paper)

Gift of Clarence S. Wilson, Jr. and Helena Chapellín Wilson, 1998.637

Known for idyllic landscape photographs, Hugo Brehme produced a body of work central to the romanticizing cultural imaginary of early 20th-century Mexico. In 1911—just a year after Emiliano Zapata, leader of the struggle for peasants' rights, joined other insurgent forces to start the Mexican Revolution—Brehme photographed the iconic Zapata brothers as they passed through Cuernavaca with their army. This image was published for the first time in the Mexican periodical La Semana Ilustrada in June 1913, and is the only known image to show the support given by the brothers' wives. Later prints of the image, such as this, were toned in sepia to mimic the look of older photographs and sold as souvenirs in street markets. Zapata remains a popular figure in Mexico today, and this image continues to exert its influence as a symbol of justice through revolutionary action.

— Permanent collection label

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