A Great Space of Dark

Born 26 August 1899 – Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage, who specialized in painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences.

The painting below – “Moon Dog” (1973) – is a marvelous example of Tamayo’s work. The figure it depicts is based on the pre-Columbian Mexican dog Izquincles, and in the opinion of one critic, it seems to be meditating “on the vastness of nature and the cosmos.” That interpretation brings to mind a few lovely and thought-provoking lines from “The Springtime,” by Anglo-American poet Denise Levertov:

“If the dogs 

bark to each other
all night, and their eyes
flash red, that’s
nobody’s business.
They have 
a great space of dark to
bark across.”

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