Search Results:

<< Viewing Record 317 of 358 >>
View : Light Box | List View | Image List | Detailed

Maker(s):Bermúdez, Henry
Culture:Venuzuela (1951- )
Title:El pajaro (The bird)
Date Made:1981
Materials:Lithograph printed in gold and black on medium thick, slightly textured, white Rives BFK paper
Measurements:sheet: 29 5/8 in x 22 5/16 in; 75.2 cm x 56.7 cm; image: 23 in x 18 1/4 in; 58.4 cm x 46.4 cm
Accession Number:  SC 2016.56.46
Credit Line:Gift of Marius and Suzanne Sznajderman in memory of Bernard Barken Kaufman
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

arc of naked people over the head and plumage of a gold bird on a black background

Label Text:
A river of naked white people runs through a dense golden jungle inhabited by a massive hidden bird. The figures of the large bird and the use of gold leaf in this print may not be just aesthetic or decorative choices. Bermúdez’s prints, with their symbolic use of figures and animals and complex renderings with intricate textural patterns, resemble medieval illuminated manuscripts. They are, however, historically and geographically resonant since the bird is a powerful symbol in Aztec myth and the pursuit of gold led directly to the downfall of Aztec civilization. Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortéz and his fabled search for Montezuma’s mythical El Dorado was just the beginning of the end of the Aztec empire. Soon more white men would be coming “down the river” in search of Montezuma’s treasure.

The artist Henry Bermúdez knows the jungle and its stories. Bermúdez’s artistic talent was discovered through a drawing contest while he was teaching high school in a small village in the jungle of Venezuela. His sudden recognition led him to travel the world where he found new subjects for his art. It led him to explore myth on a more universal level. (hkdv)

birds; mythology; abstract

Link to share this object record:

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email

<< Viewing Record 317 of 358 >>