Sunday, January 19, 2020


When the National Museum of Anthropology was built in 1964, the government commissioned some of the country's leading painters to decorate the museum with murals.  One of the pieces painted for the museum is "Dualidad" by Rufino Tamayo.  It is located in the museum's lobby by the entrance to the auditorium.

Tamayo (1899-1991) was one of Mexico's leading artists.  In this mural he represents the way in which the pre-Hispanic civilizations viewed the cosmos, as a duality between light and dark, day and night, good and evil.  To the left is the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.  Unlike the Judeo-Christian religions which view the serpent as a symbol of evil, Quetzalcoatl was the god of civilization and knowledge.  He is opposed by a jaguar, the symbol of the god Tezcatlipoca, the lord of darkness.

This mural, with its striking colors, is perhaps one of Tamayo's known works.  Given its location in Mexico's most visited museum, it is certainly the painting by Tamayo which has been seen by the most people.

No comments:

Post a Comment