lunes, 19 de septiembre de 2011


Text and Indicated Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza has been able to locate three more pictures made by Robert Capa in Cerro Muriano area and its surroundings on September 5, 1936:


Photo: Robert Capa / Magnum. The discovery of the location of this picture beside the Cortijo de Villa Alicia, in the Finca of Villa Alicia at a distance of around 1 km from the southwest of Cerro Muriano village, was made in September 2011 by José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Picture made by Capa in the Finca of Villa Alicia ( around 1 km in the south west of Cerro Muriano village) on September 5, 1936, approximately at 12:30 h, very near the Cortijo of Villa Alicia, during the evacuation of the civil population of the area because of the attack of the third column of Francoist troops - the left one- on the south slope of Torreárboles hill, adjacent to whose north side are both the Finca of Villa Alicia and the Cortijo of Villa Alicia.

The man is taking a little girl on a donkey, holding her with his arms.

Both the father, the little girls and Capa are hearing the noise made by rifle, machine gun and artillery fire exchanged between the Republican defenders of the summit of Torreárboles hill and major Sagrado´s Francoist troops of the third attacking column on the left which try to assault the south side of this knoll.

Capa makes this picture in a very nearby spot where he took this other picture whose location was discovered by one year and four months ago:

Photo: Robert Capa / ICP New York. The discovery of the location of this picture in Cerro Muriano (specifically by the Cortijo of Villa Alicia in the Finca of Villa Alicia) was made in May 2010 by José Manuel Serrano Esparza.

The enlarged right half of this image shows clearly that Capa made the picture just located by us (with a man on a donkey and taking two very little girls) approximately ten meters behind, in the same stretch of the way that passes by the Cortijo of Villa Alicia, also known as Way of the Written Stone.

The trees on the right and the branches are the same, but from another perspective. Capa has moved quickly with his feet striving after capturing the hastened flee of these frightened people from various angles, doing his best to photograph different persons.

Photo: Robert Capa / ICP New York

It´s important to realize that the man appearing on the left of the just located picture (wearing a dark beret and a clear shirt on a donkey and holding two little girls) is a different man than the one appearing also mounted on a donkey in the aforementioned picture which we located one year and four months ago (who wears a clear beret, dark shirt and isn´t holding any children, boys or girls in his arms).

Photo: José Manuel Serrano Esparza. 2009

B) Updating August 17, 2015.-

Photo: Robert Capa / Magnum Photos.

Picture made by Robert Capa and whose authorship was known since nineties in which it was unveiled by Cornell Capa during an exhibition on his brother Robert Capa in Japan. It was captured around 400 meters from the north exit of Cerro Muriano to the refugees who can be seen in the image, fleeing from the Francoist bombing of the village with aircraft, walking on the left of the Córdoba-Almorchón railways, in a stretch in which it features a pronounced sloped on the adjacent flat ground through which the persons visible in the picture are advancing, going to Obejo Train Station (approximately 5 kilometers from Cerro Muriano) and El Vacar (roughly 11 km).

In this stretch, the rails of the railway, covered by the bodies of the refugees appearing in this photograph, were in 1936 much more levelled between each other than currently in which the rails of the left area just by the slope feature a visible slant with respect to the ones located on the right, because of the lack of maintenance and the elapse of many years, because this railroad was abandoned as a passanger means of transport in 1974, remaining restricted to goods conveyance, until the 4,2 km previous to the entrance in Córdoba were destroyed in 1992, which meant the end of the operating life of this railways, whose path was one of the most beautiful in the whole history of the Spanish trains, with landscapes of unmateched natural beauty, particularly when crossing Sierra Morena.

In the colour picture made in august 2015, the two buildings which can be seen in the background on the left, the streetlights, the high voltage tower and its cables, the fence and the traffic sign of the N-432a national highway didn´t exist when Capa made this picture on September 5, 1936.

Discovery of the location of this photograph: José Manuel Serrano Esparza on August 17, 2016.

In the middle of the image there´s a young mother wearing white apparel and slippers, taking her baby in her arms, while grabbing with her right hand a straw hat with a hole.

On her right, two men are walking: one is approximately 20 years old and is taking on his back, leant on his right shoulder, a heavy backpack with personal belongings, and another one seeeming to be older is taking a large sack on his left shoulder and has been captured by Capa when he´s adjusting the straw hat to prevent the sun from inciding on his face.

On the right half of the image, behind the woman and the two men leading the group, most of them probably belonging to the same family, there are some further people walking: a teenage girl clad in a clear dress and grabbing the handle of a metallic bucket with a little cat inside, an around thirty years old man taking a wicker basket full of personal belongings on his head, and a woman walking beside him, of whom only her left leg, left shoulder and left half of the head can be glimpsed.
Rearmost, on the right corner of the image, an approximately ten years old girl is walking taking her little brother with her hand.

Map of the area included between Finca of Villa Alicia, Torreárboles, Las Malagueñas, Cerro Muriano village, Obejo Train Station and El Vacar.


This picture appears in the book The Spanish People´s Fight for Liberty by A. Ramos Oliveira, edited by the Spanish Embassy in London in 1937.

This is a picture depicting the gruesome scene of an almost complete family that have had to quickly.

There are two old women clad in dark garments and black coifs on their heads, who grab bundles with the personal belongings they have been able to save, along with blankets to sleep in the open air during the night. They walk heavily and are the last in the group.

On her turn, a mature woman in his fifties can be seen on far right of the frame, wearing a clear coif and also taking a bundle with blankets and some personal belongings. Probably- out of image- she is holding another bundle with her left hand.

On the left of the image there´s a mother in her thirties making a tremendously strenuous effort: she is holding her daughter with her left arm and hand, while she takes a bag with personal belongings and blankets with her right hand.

On the other hand, we can see a total of six children in this photograph: two very young girls being approximately eight years old on far left of the image, a blond very young boy - roughly being five years old- wearing black shorts (located slightly on the left of the frame center), and the most dismal detail of everything: two more girls, just behind the blond very young boy. 

One of them (located in the middle of the frame) takes with her left hand the right hand of an exceedingly young baby - probably not being more than 2 years old-, while another young girl (being approximately eleven years old) takes the left arm of the baby with her right hand.

There hasn´t been time to properly dress the baby, who appears utterly naked from waist downward, with the genital area visible.

This baby has learnt to walk very recently, hardly can stand on his feet and is constantly helped by her elder sisters.

Updating October 6, 2011.-
I initially located wrongly the picture starting the section C) of this article as having being made by Robert Capa in a stretch of the Córdoba-Almorchón railways near El Vacar (Córdoba), thinking that they were refugees escaping from Cerro Muriano, but the great Spanish photographer Agustí Centelles, made in 1937 a photograph of refugees fleeing the bombardment of Tardienta (Huesca), published in the newspaper El País on July 23, 2010 in its series The Favourite Pictures of Agustí Centelles in which appear the same persons previously photographed by Capa, in a very near location, only a few hundred meters beyond: 

- The young mother in his thirties which was on the left of the image in the previous photograph, is now on the right, holding her daugther with her left arm and hand while she takes a big bag with her right hand.

- The old woman with black attire which occupies the center of the frame in the previous picture and now on far left with her left right leaned on her hip. 

- The young little girl with the very dirty front of his skirt who was on far left of the image is now in the lower center of the frame looking backwards at her younger brother and sister. 

- The blond little boy with short trousers which was immediately on the left of the image center in the previous photograph with his left leg forward is now in the background between the two old women clad with black garments and behind his elder sister.

- The little girl which appeared in the middle of the previous photograph grabbing with her left hand the right hand of a very little baby helping him to walk is now the last in the queue and has just taken the bag of the old woman which is now on far left of the image and was behind her in the previous image - highly probably, this old woman, being exhausted has asked the little girl to take the bag, what she does with great effort-.

- The baby who was being helped by his two sisters in the previous picture has now been raised on her shoulders by his elder sister who was taking the left arm of the baby in the previous photograph. 

- The old woman with dark attire appearing on the right in the previous image taking a basket with blankets with her left hand, appears now in the middle of the picture, looking anxiously backwards at the little girl who is very strenuously trying to take the other old woman´s bag.

Therefore, it´s almost certainly sure that the photograph opening the C) section of this article, was made by Agustí Centelles. 

Copyright Text and Indicated Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza. LHSA
Inscribed in the Territorial Registry of the Intellectual Property of Madrid

Other Articles on Robert Capa and Gerda Taro:

Cerro Muriano: Identification and Location of Five More Photographs Made by Capa and Taro and Appeared in the 24/10/1936 Illustrated London News

Cerro Muriano: Discovered and Located a New Photograph Made by Robert Capa on September 5, 1936. Moments of PreDeath ( I I )

Cerro Muriano: A New Photograph Made by Capa or Gerda Taro on September 5, 1936 Found and Located

Gerda Taro: Centenary of Her Birth and Identification on a September 5, 1936 Picture Made in Cerro Muriano Area

La Granjuela (Córdoba) : Gerda Taro June 1937

Valsequillo (Córdoba) : Gerda Taro Early July 1937. Locations of the Photographs and Identification of the Photojournalist in One of the Images