Eye Candy for Today: Manuel Ocaranza’s Love of the Hummingbird and The Dead Flower

The Love of the Hummingbird, The Dead Flower, Manuel Ocaranza
The Love of the Hummingbird and The Dead Flower, Manuel Ocaranza

Links are to zoomable versions on Google Art Project, downloadable version of The Love of the Hummingbird and The Dead Flower on Wikimedia Commons, originals are in the Museo Nacional De Arte of Mexico (no images).

The Love of the Hummingbird is a charming genre set piece — as much as still life as it is a portrait/figure study, but together with The Dead Flower, the two paintings may be intended to tell a morality tale — in which the promise of blossoming love suggested in the former is echoed in a metaphor of lost virtue in the latter.

The model is different, but the theme and compositional elements are very similar; the lily, in particular, links the two and can serve as a metaphor for the young woman’s virginity.

Though Ocaranza never officially tied the two works, they were painted during the same period, and displayed together when first revealed; it’s generally assumed they are meant to be related.

 
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