Bobbie and John Nau developed the painting (Mexican Funeral) in 1925, which is a portrait of a Mexican burial ceremony. The meaning and atmosphere shown in the painting demonstrate that the artist is of Mexican descent and is well-versed in Mexican cultural customs and values surrounding burial ceremonies. The artwork was bought from Babcock Gallery in New York.
The artwork is a graphic depiction of an incident in the form of a drawing – a literary source of literature; one of the easiest ways to preserve knowledge for potential reference. It is the only source through which researchers have the ability to obtain first-hand information regarding the kind of lifestyle that people lived some years back.
The designer has used several literary aspects to create the mood of a burial ceremony. For example, the use of white color for the casket and gate is a symbol of a holy environment – a sense of religious involvement in the activity. Flowers, which are used to bid farewell to the deceased are held by the children and parents and are placed beside the casket, as it usually happens in several burials. The artist also creates a sad mood for the loss of a loved one, when the bereaved are shown to be gloomy and worried.
The piece is a symbol of bereavement, and it was chosen to bring out the clear picture of the Mexican culture with regards to how they send off the dead. It is to inform the people of the beliefs of Mexicans, that when a child passes on, very few people are to attend the burial ceremony – such that no more evil spirits shall invade the family by death. It inspired me to consider unity during hard times.
The piece shows both the social and cultural nature of the Mexican people and gives a moral lesson to the viewers on what is expected during difficult times. Further, the painting speaks to families on the importance of strong family ties to different life situations.