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The Mad Dog

Rufino Tamayo, Mexican, 1899 - 1991

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

32 x 43 inches (81.3 x 109.2cm) Framed: 33 1/4 × 44 5/8 × 2 inches (84.5 × 113.3 × 5.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Herbert Cameron Morris, 1945

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Oaxacan-born artist Rufino Tamayo began a series of paintings of animals in the early 1940s that focused on the human states of anxiety and desperation, as exemplified in The Mad Dog. Living in New York City at the time, Tamayo was probably influenced by the animal imagery found in Picasso's masterpiece Guernica (1937), which was on view in 1939 and 1940 at the Valentine Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, respectively. Although a self-declared apolitical artist, Tamayo commented in later years that the animal paintings addressed, in general terms, the "mounting world pressures" of the time.