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The man controlling the universe


The man controlling the universe

Here is a fresco of a Mexican artist Diego Rivera The Man Managing the Universe (1934) on the wall Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City 3-3-3458. .

This work existed in two versions. Initially, the fresco is intended for the central hall Rockefeller Center in New York, and should have been called “A Man at a Crossroads, Looking with Hope and High Vision to a Choice of a New and Better Future” ( “Man at the Crossroads” ). However, as the author traced the details, it became clear that a conflict was inevitable between his communist views and the goal of the customers of the work. After Vladimir Lenin appeared almost in the very center of the fresco, the Rockefellers asked Rivera to replace him with someone else (for example, Abraham Lincoln ). The artist resolutely refused, and the fresco remained unfinished. Later they tried to transfer it to New York Museum of Modern Art , but this turned out to be technically impossible, and the fresco was destroyed.

Rivera set himself the goal of completing the work and reproduced the mural again, using black and white photographs of the previous version as an example. This time, the fresco was supposed to be located on the wall of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City and was called “Man, Controller of the Universe”.


The man controlling the universe

Both options are murals. Left - black and white photograph of the painting “Man at the Crossroads” of 1933 in New York, right - photo of a 1934 fresco in Mexico City. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org


In both versions of the picture, the main character - man - is at the crossroads of two roads: space and biological. Rivera has there were no science education, but he was fond of medicine and spent a lot of time in clinics, watching the work of surgeons. He divides the biological “road” of mankind into two halves, we will call them conditionally “life” and “death”.

The left one is the upper half of the biological “diagonal” - microscopic and “deadly”. It is filled with infectious agents, which at that time caused epidemics, often caused the death of people, and in some ways were considered diseases of society, because they spread due to non-compliance with hygiene rules. Not all of them can be unambiguously determined, but some are quite recognizable.


The man controlling the universe

The central fragment of the mural. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org


Closest to the person, on a dark background, are silhouettes that resemble in some way. trypanosomes - protists 3-3-3458. that people owe sleeping sickness and some other, less well-known infections (see picture of the day 3-3-3115. Panic trypanosome 3-3-3458.). Further, above the microscope, a white figure is visible on an orange background, which may be an intestinal salmonella ( Salmonella enterica ) - pathogen typhoid fever , and long processes - its flagella.


The man controlling the universe

Left - a fragment of a fresco with salmonella and trypanosomes. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org . In the center is - trypanosome from blood gray rat . Drawing from the textbook Essentials of bacteriology , 1914. Right - intestinal salmonella under the microscope. Photo from the site britannica.com


The upper row of the diagonal is filled with rod-shaped and spherical bacteria - 3-3-3159. bacilli and cocci . They are not easy to see from afar, but somewhere among them probably 3-3-3163. plague wand ( Yersinia pestis , In early textbooks it is designated as Bacillus pestis ) And tuberculous Koch wand (which is now known as 3-3-3171. Mycobacterium 3-3-3458. - 3-3-33461. Mycobacterium tuberculosis 3-3-33462., and then it was also considered a bacillus - 3-3-33461. Bacillus tuberculosis 3-3-33462.).


The man controlling the universe

Left - A fragment of a fresco with sticks and cocci in the upper row. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org . In the center is - tubercle bacillus in the sputum of the patient. 2100x magnification. Right - pathogen bubonic plague plague wand. Images from the textbook W. J. MacNeal, 1920.3-3r3201. Pathogenic micro-organisms


In addition, circles in the upper and lower rows are visible on straight or curved legs. They resemble 3-3-3209. disputes 3-3-3458. - forms of existence in which bacteria survive unfavorable conditions. These can be disputes, for example, tetanus bacillus or pathogen anthrax Bacillus anthracis .


The man controlling the universe

Left - A fragment of a mural with bacterial spores. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org . In the center is - bacilli and spores of the causative agent of anthrax. 1000x magnification. Image from the textbook 1914.3-3r3239. Essentials of bacteriology . Right - spores of tetanus bacillus. Image from the textbook W. J. MacNeal, 1920.3-3r3243. Pathogenic micro-organisms


Near the microscope, Rivera depicted a human immune cell - white blood cell 3-3-3458. . It can be recognized by its large segmented core and its characteristic coloration (dye 3-3-33253. Hematoxylin 3-3-3458. Stains the nucleus blue) - this is 3-3-33255. neutrophil 3-3-3458. , a specialist in the absorption of bacteria. It may seem superfluous among the bacteria surrounding it, but upon closer examination in its cytoplasm small blue dots are visible. This is gonococci , pathogen bacteria gonorrhea who are known for their ability to survive even being phagocytosed immune cell.


The man controlling the universe

Left - a fragment of a mural with a neutrophil. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org . Right - gonococci and neutrophils. 1000x magnification. Image from a textbook W. J. MacNeal, 1920.3-3r3291. Pathogenic micro-organisms


Thin stripes wriggle next to the neutrophil - these are 3-3-33299. pale treponema from the group spirochete pathogens 3-3-3303. syphilis . Right below them is Rivera - apparently, in revenge - depicted large spectacled head John Rockefeller surrounded by women of easy virtue.


The man controlling the universe

Left - a fragment of the mural. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org . Right - pale treponema. Darkfield microscopy , magnification 54x. Photo from the site commons.wikimedia.org


The right, lower, half of the diagonal, on the contrary, depicts life - from its very origins to its birth. True, not quite in chronological order. On the upper left is the mammary gland with its internal ducts (see picture of the day 3-3-33345. The mammary gland during lactation 3-3-3458.). To the right is a dark purple ovary with follicles at different stages of maturation. The first two are still immature, and the third has already burst, having released the egg into the oviduct (probably it is he who is below the diagonal). As a shell, the ovary is surrounded by stages of cell division.


The man controlling the universe

A fragment of a fresco that shows the mammary gland with ducts, ovarian follicles, breast-feeding a baby and Lenin, shaking hands with workers of different races and genders. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org


In the far right corner, Rivera placed something resembling seed tubule in cross section, producing sperm, and between it and the ovary - the fetus inside the uterus.


The man controlling the universe

A fragment of a fresco with the fetus inside the uterus and the tubule of the testis in the right corner of the diagonal. Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org


In the middle of the diagonal, that is, directly at the crossroads, the artist placed an image of atoms, and under them - a dividing cell. A cell looks very schematic, so it hardly belongs to any particular organism. Rather, it symbolizes division as the basis of life - both for pathogenic organisms on the left side of the diagonal, and for future people - on the right.


The man controlling the universe

A fragment of a fresco depicting atoms (3–3–3461. At the top of a 3–3–3462 ball) and cell division (3–3–3461. At the bottom 3–3–3462.) Frame from video Khan Academy from the site khanacademy.org


If you recognize in this picture some other objects (bacteria, organs, cells) or someone from people (among the crowd, for example, not only 3-3-33439. Leo Trotsky 3-3-3458., 3-3-33441. Karl Marx 3-3-3458. And 3-3-3348. Friedrich Engels , But also Charles Darwin ), Tell us about it in the comments.

The history of the creation and analysis of the picture from the Academy of Khan

Image from pages on the Facebook of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. Diego Rivera, The Man Managing the Universe, 1934.

Polina Loseva

22 май 2020 /
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