Skip Navigation

Madonna, Mexico City

Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide is one of the best-known Mexican photographers of the last four decades. The images in this gallery represent series from different parts of Mexico, of which the most important is her breakthrough photoessay Juchitán of the Women (1979–86). In a documentary style notable for its humanistic grace, the series focuses on the indigenous Zapotec people in the town of Juchitán, in southeastern Mexico, where women dominate all aspects of social life, from the economy to religious rituals. The most emblematic image of the series, Our Lady of the Iguanas, shows the power and dignity of a Zapotec woman, who carries on her head live iguanas that form a bizarre crown. Four Fishes shows a woman displaying fish for sale from the private space of her home, the clay and straw of the wall echoing the scales of the fish.

Like her teacher, the photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo (at one time the husband of Lola Alvarez Bravo, whose work hangs nearby), Iturbide portrays Catholic traditions intertwined with pre-Hispanic rites and superstitions, showing a culture in constant flux. Approaching her subjects directly and frontally, Iturbide represents a dreamlike reality with great compassion, or, to use the artist’s own word, “complicity.”
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1980
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm) Image: 12 1/8 x 8 in. (30.8 x 20.3 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right verso: "Graciela Iturbide"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Marcuse Pfeifer
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Graciela Iturbide
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact

If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION Graciela Iturbide (Mexican, born 1942). Madonna, Mexico City, 1980. Gelatin silver photograph, Sheet: 14 x 10 1/2 in. (35.6 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Marcuse Pfeifer, 1990.119.40. © Graciela Iturbide
IMAGE overall, 1990.119.40_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.