- Series:Spanish Village
- Date:1950 / Later print, circa 1971
- Technique:Gelatin silver print on paper
- Dimensions:54,5 x 38,5 cm
- Category: Photography
- Entry date:2010
- Register number:AD05998
The photograph shows a woman named María Ruiz Rodríguez, from the village of Deleitosa in Extremadura. It is part of Gene Smith’s Spanish Food Project, developed by the photographer W. Eugene Smith, his assistant Ted Castle and the interpreter Nina Peinado between the 5th of May and the 7th of July 1950. Half the project was done in Deleitosa, “a nameless town” of 2650 inhabitants – three times as many as today - almost untouched by progress, without telephone, drainage or running water. Smith’s approach was that his “station in life is to capture the action of life, the life of the world, its humor, its tragedies, in other words, life as it is. A true picture, unposed and real.” According to Nina Peinado: “He wanted to be very objective, but of course he was not. He was against. Absolutely.” In 1951 the pictures were published in Life, under the title Spanish Village. One of the magazine’s art directors, Bernard Quint, had the job of organising the photographs. From 45 rolls on Deleitosa, Smith chose 113 shots, which Quint then reduced to 17, among them The Spinner, paying more attention to beauty and emotional meanings than to information and political commentary. They received extraordinary public and critical acclaim, and Spanish Village has been considered ever since as one of the masterworks of humanist documentary photography.