Death in the making

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment



Death in the Making‘ is the first book by Magnum photographer Robert Capa, published in 1938. The book contains photographs of the Spanish Civil War taken by Capa and his lover and fellow photographer, Gerda Taro.

The book started as a collaboration between Capa and Taro, until Taro was badly wounded in a tank accident and later died. When the book was published, Capa dedicated it to her with this message, ‘For Gerda Taro, who spent one year at the Spanish front, and who stayed on. RC‘.
The photograph used for the front cover is one of Capa’s most famous works ‘Falling soldier’, formally ‘Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936’.

Original title Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936

The Falling Soldier is a famous photograph taken by Robert Capa, understood to have been taken on September 5, 1936 and long thought to depict the death of a Republican, specifically an Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (FIJL) soldier during the Spanish Civil War, who was later identified as the anarchist Federico Borrell García. The full title of the photograph is Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936.

There had been falangist allegations from the beginning that the picture was staged, but outside Spain the picture was believed to be a true documentary image until the 1970

Recent research indeed suggests that the picture was staged. It was definitely not taken at the battle site of Cerro Muriano, but at Espejo, some thirty miles away.Doubt has also been cast on the identification of the photograph’s subject: Federico Borrell García is known to have been killed at Cerro Muriano, shot while sheltered behind a tree, and he did not greatly resemble the subject of the photograph


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