An episode of yellow fever in Buenos Aires

An episode of yellow fever in Buenos Aires
An episode of yellow fever in Buenos Aires
Anonim

In January 1871 there was a terrible plague of mosquitoes in the city of Buenos Aires. And in addition, those mosquitoes spread the yellow fever disease with their bites, which at that time became a devastating epidemic since practically everything about this disease was unknown and there were still a few years to go until the treatment and cure were found. for her.

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An episode of yellow fever in Buenos Aires

So that in that winter of 1871 many people died from the epidemic in the capital of Argentina. And although the data is overwhelming, few things can better summarize the tremendous drama of that situation than the oil painted by the Uruguayan artist Juan Manuel Blanes. A work en titled An episode of yellow fever in Buenos Aires which is currently one of the main paintings on display at the National Museum of Visual Arts in Montevideo.

José Manuel Blanes (1830 – 1901) captured the reality and pain of this illness in a most everyday scene. A woman has fallen dead on the floor of her house from yellow fever. Next to her is her baby, disconsolate, and both the doctor and the lawyer who come to certify her death are shaken by the harshness of the scene, in which there are more members of the family. Between them, in the shadows and on the bed, the father who liesdead.

Blaneswas a painter in theacademic stylewho spent long periods in Europe, especially in Italy, improving his art. He became a master of portraiture and historical scenes, for which he has extensively documented himself. A previous work that he also did to paint this painting, since he portrayed a real scene. In fact, the name of the deceased is known, the place where the family lived, and who that doctor and lawyer were, who also died some time later from the same epidemic.

Possibly this is the great work of Blanes. It shows all his talents for painting, beginning with his naturalistic drawing and his great mastery of lighting effects, which are manifested here by placing the greatest focus of light on the fallen mother and the little one next to him.

In short, it's like a visual and very dramatic chronicle of that historical moment. A shocking scene with which you can certainly try to establish links with the present, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the entire planet.

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