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Dog and Serpent

Artist
Rufino Tamayo, Mexican, 1899–1991
Date
1943
Material
Oil on canvas
Probably made in
New York, New York, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 212
Dimensions
34 1/8 x 44 1/4 in. (86.7 x 112.4 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Morton D. May
Rights
© 2020 Tamayo Heirs / Mexico / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Object Number
234:1954
NOTES
In a rocky landscape, a short dog bares its teeth, ready to pounce on a fanged serpent. Artist Rufino Tamayo modeled this native Mexican hairless dog after a type of Mesoamerican, canine shaped funerary vessel. Spending extended time in New York City during World War II (1939–1945), Tamayo became keenly aware of this conflict, in which the United States had become involved. This impending struggle between two wild animals represents an allegory for the unprecedented violence then occurring in Europe.
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