El último abrazo [The last embrace]



El último abrazo [The last embrace]


Estampas de la Revolución Española


“Cuando el arte se trueca en intérprete de la emoción popular, el arte se sublima… Se hace a un tiempo carne y espíritu.”
“When art becomes the interpreter of some great national sentiment, it is sublime… [It is] a mingling of the flesh with the spirit.”
—“The Doorway,” Preface to Estampas de la Revolución Española, 19 Julio de 1936
A collection of vignettes from the Spanish Civil War, brought forth within the realms of images with wide brushstrokes and trilingual captions, Estampas de la Revolución Española, 19 Julio de 1936, remains a testament to the many emotions and contradictions of the era. In this image, “El último abrazo,” a man lays down the dying body of his lifelong companion. Humanity’s looming mortality consumes this painting, leaving only a blurry conception of hope lost. While the artist—known solely as “hijo del pueblo” or “son of the people”—was featured in this volume for an anarchist, proletariat pursuit, his work transcends war’s partisan boundaries, serving as a traumatic reminder of war’s true victim: humanity, abandoned for the ether and painfully pieced together through art. Ultimately, El último abrazo confirms that ceaseless, unjustified violence fails to usher in prosperity, and that destruction never yields peace.




Oficinas de Propaganda de la Confederación Nacional del Trabajo y de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica


19 julio de 1936


KEVIN “THE ROCK” MEDANSKY, “El último abrazo [The last embrace],” Testimonies in Art & Action: Igniting Pacifism in the Face of Total War, accessed July 15, 2020, https://ds-omeka.haverford.edu/peacetestimonies/items/show/230.

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