Analysis Of El Rapto De Las Mulatas

1343 Words 6 Pages
El Rapto de las Mulatas, made in 1938, is a painting by Cuban avant-garde artist Carlos Enriquez. It translates to “The Abduction of the Mulatas,” where mulatas are mixed race women in Cuba. The painting portrays a scenario that is described very literally in the title: a pair of mulatas being abducted and raped by two men who seem to be guajiros, Cuban countrymen. There are varying theories pertaining to what exactly the painting really represents, but most of these theories are centered around the violent eroticism of it all. When looking at it while trying to give this aforementioned eroticism a timeout (by focusing on other aspects of the painting) and considering all the circumstances behind it, El Rapto de las Mulatas can be interpreted …show more content…
The fact that the women being raped are mulatas is noteworthy because the mulata is considered to be a major icon of Cuba; it can be assumed that the mulatas symbolize Cuba. The countrymen are taking the mulatas away from, it can be inferred, where they belong, Cuba. Thus, the scenario can be thought to be analogous to the abduction of the true essence of Cuba from whom it should belong to: the people. Tying in with this is the use of the word “rapto” (which means abduction) in the title; it makes it seems as if Cuba is literally being kidnapped and taken away from its people. The problem is intensified by how the mulatas look like they are giving in to the guajiros. It looks like there is a sense of consent in the interaction between man and woman. This can be perceived as being emblematic of Cuba’s problems; Enriquez may be trying to say that the problems he came home to were in part due to what he may see as the Cuban people’s constant lack of action against the likes of Ramon Grau & Fulgencio Batista. Despite this, the mulata on the right also seems to have a look of subtle defiance in her eyes. This could signify that, in spite of his disappointment in the country’s apparent yielding to dishonest political groups, Enriquez still has hope in Cuba’s ability to bounce back from its troubles at this time. Also significant is the fact …show more content…
These features help explain why the painting can be seen as an expression of Enriquez’ disappointment in Cuba’s position at the time. For example, there is the road behind the main subjects of the painting. It is long and winding yet completely deserted. This could reflect how Enriquez may think that there is no help on the way; only the Cubans can save themselves. Also worthy of note is the prominence of what can be considered to be “fiery” colors at the forefront of the painting. Enriquez may have added this in to express his resentment and anger with Cuba’s gradual dismantling. Also from a purely visual standpoint, the trees around the main subjects of the painting look like they bend to make space for said subjects. This ensures whoever is looking at the painting that the mulata has no limits, yet is still being dragged away, just like Cuba was being dragged away from its true

Related Documents

Related Topics