Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

The Man Without Vices Obliterated by Bullets and Paint

General Arnulfo Gomez "El Hombre Sin Vicios" had shaved to prevent recognition, but was tracked down nonetheless. Condemned to death in Tepcelo at one in the morning and shot as the sun rose hours later. He had two requests. First, that his eyes be covered. Second, that the command to fire be silent. The commander had no problem with either. He raised, then dropped a silent hat to signal. Gomez...Fue aprehendido y fusilado por las tropas federales en 1927.

The Photographer is unidentified, as is the artist who cropped the photo with such a heavy hand the original image is all but gone. I imagine Mexican photographic facilities in 1927 were less than ideal. Was the film carried across the border to be developed and enhanced?

Gomez is a footnote in the troubled history of Mexico. He is mentioned on page 222 of "Mexican Suite: A History of Photography in Mexico" (linked at right)...I do not know if the working photographer who took this photo is mentioned anywhere.

"The end of Gen Arnulfo Gomez" Heavily embellished press photograph, 1927. Collection Jim Linderman


  1. The image is so heavily altered, it begs the question: when does it change from a photograph into something else?

    It's like a folk art version of Goya's Los fusilamientos en la montana del Principe Pio.

  2. Tis nice, eh? The paint is so distracting it is easy to forget it was a picture of a fellow dying.
    A really curious thing.

  3. this is my greatgrandfather
    he moved his family to the states before this happened.
    3 daughters


    1. He is my great grandfather, from what I know my grandpa was his only son. Who looked just like him. RIP..