Forjadores de Imperio, 2009

Forgers of Empire, 2009
Graphic material, 30 postcards: 14.3 x 9 cm each

Forjadores de imperio was a series of 30 postcards published in 1939, immediately after the Spanish Civil War. In it, Ángel Hilario García de Jalón, photographer of Madrid celebrities in the 1940s, portrayed dictator Francisco Franco and his closest cohorts in the midst of the war. The widely distributed series makes clear the link between propaganda and the writing of history. Although only one of the portraits includes a weapon, the presence of medals, uniforms, hats, cloaks, flags and crucifixes gives clues that invalidate the supposed aseptic nature of the portrait. Self-proclaimed saviours of the homeland and morality, the theatricality of the images reinforces the exaltation of their triumphant ideology and the fact that they presented themselves as forgers of a new utopia. Oriol Vilanova chose to compose this mosaic of the victors in the format of a graduation photo, frequently used in academia as a collective portrait of an entire class. A subtle gesture that calls for the revision of the representation of success and victory.

Technical details

Original title:
Forjadores de Imperio
Registration number:
Vilanova, Oriol
Date created:
Date acquired:
On display
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Graphic material
Photographs by Jalón Ángel, c. 1939. Lithography on paper
30 postcards: 14.3 x 9 cm each (height x width)
Meier Building, Level 1
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
© Oriol Vilanova
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