Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Robert Capa's iconic image of a republican soldier being killed during fighting in the Spanish civil war has been declared fake by a Spanish newspaper. The image, taken in 1936, is one of Capa's most famous images, but the Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico claims that the image was not taken near Cerro Muriano in the southern Andalusia region, as has long been claimed, but 30 miles away near the town of Espejo. The paper claims that Capa photographed this soldier in a location where no fighting was taking place.
The first claims that the 'falling soldier' image wasn't an authentic war image, first appeared during the mid 1970's. Since then, various investigations have put forward theories with the most recent actually giving a name, Frederico Borrell Garcia, to the fallen soldier. I think the shot is authentic. I just don't believe that Robert Capa was into faking shots but i could be wrong. Various websites have commented on the story and the iconic importance of the image, but in my opinion this image was never his strongest war photograph anyway. For many photographers, it is his images taken during World War 2 that remain his most defining pieces of work - the Omaha beach D-Day landing photographs especially.
The BBC Viewfinder photoblog gives a great insight into the whole story of the faked photo allegations and the iconic importance of the photograph. The blog can be found HERE