- Museum number
- Object: El gran atentado (The great assassination)
A cloaked figure behind a wall pointing a pistol at three men walking (Manuel Avila Camacho, Miguel Hidalgo and Benito Juárez), while a man with horse-like features stands on three blocks embossed with the letters PAN (Partido Acción Nacional). 1944
- Production date
Height: 400 millimetres
Width: 545 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Revolution on Paper: Mexican Prints 1910-1960', Dawn Adès and Alison McClean, with the assistance of Laura Campbell, edited by Mark McDonald, BMP, 2009.
'In 1944 this print was banned from an exhibition at the Galeria Decoración in Mexico City because it addressed the subject of a plot by the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional/National Action Party) to assassinate President Ávila Camacho (1940-46). Various artists, including Los Tres Grandes (Orozco, Siqueiros and Rivera), organized an exhibition in protest against this act of censorship. Before the publication of this print the TGP had become fragmented, but in an act of solidarity some of the artists who had previously abandoned the group returned, and new members joined.
The print shows a cloaked assassin with a peaked cap pointing a pistol at President Camacho from behind a wall. The President strides confidently with two other figures representing Miguel Hidalgo, the leader of Mexico's independence movement, and Benito Juárez, Mexico's first indigenous president who also became a hero for defending the nation from invading French troops in the mid-nineteenth century. All are drawn in outline, walking 'on air' rather than on the ground, suggesting that they are an apparition.
In the foreground, a man with horse-like features and wearing a suit stands on three nursery-style building blocks bearing the letters PAN. Swastikas fly from his open mouth, demonstrating that his words are Fascist propaganda. He also waves a flag bearing a map of the Mexican Republic inside a white circle on a dark background; the Nazi flag was a black swastika inside a white circle on a red background, implying that the PAN would turn Mexico into a Fascist state. However, the man also gives the communist salute of a raised clenched fist. The image reflects the mixed views in Mexico's political system.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2009-10 Oct-Apr, BM, Revolution on Paper: Mexican Prints, cat 54
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number