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Dualidad Mural

Displayed in the entrance hall of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, this immense mural confronts the observant visitor with the depiction of a fierce fight between a snarling jaguar and a hissing serpent. The battling beasts represent the Aztec concept of the perennial duality of life and death, day and night, creation and destruction. 

The mural often goes unnoticed by visitors eager to see the archaeological treasures of the museum, but it’s worth pausing a moment to contemplate this enigmatic art piece. Created in 1964 by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo for the opening of the museum, the mural is known simply as “Dualidad” (“Duality”), drawing on the rich mythology of the Aztecs and modern Mexican folklore.  

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