Martin Chambi was taught photography at the age of nine and by age twenty-six had set up his first studio in Sicuani. In1917, while still young, Chambi was the first to issue a postcard of Peru. He moved to Cuzco in 1920, where he opened his second studio, and there Chambi's portraits of wealthy families, local politicians, and intellectuals rapidly became fashionable. His concerns, however, also included documentation of Peru's regional architecture and Indian heritage. A second studio in Cuzco, still operated by his family, was opened in 1925.

Four Brothers is a wonderful example of Chambi's straightforward style of portraiture. Lacking the pretentious props often found in European portraiture, the brothers proudly pose against a simple backdrop. While all appear in their best clothes, the priest's stark attire contrasts strikingly with the native dress of the remaining brothers.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Martín Chambi, Peruvian, 1891–1973
Four Brothers
1930s, printed 1991
Gelatin silver print
Image: 12 1/4 × 16 3/8 in. (31.1 × 41.6 cm) Sheet: 15 15/16 × 19 13/16 in. (40.5 × 50.3 cm)
Credit Line

The Sonia and Kaye Marvins Portrait Collection, museum purchase funded by Sonia and Kaye Marvins

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

[Fernando Castro-Ramirez]; purchased by MFAH, 1992.