Madonna | Artistic Interpretation #3: I’ll Remember (1994)

After a few weeks of working on the drawing, I finally completed my third artistic interpretation of Madonna. This drawing is based on a photo that was taken back in 1994 for a song called: “I’ll Remember“, which Madonna produced for an Original Motion Picture film called: “With Honors” which saw her undergo a radical change in her image and style for this particular song. This song, which was produced for the Original Motion Picture film, With Honors, came two years before the huge movie role which would completely change the way we would see Madonna, which was Evita. The movie, Evita, released in 1996, would see the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, portray Eva Duarte Perón, who passed away on the 26th July 1952 during the 1952 Summer Olympics from Ovarian Cancer.

This drawing took longer to produce considering I had my studies to focus on, which is why I wasn’t able to get around to completing it until last week. I must say that I am absolutely pleased to have achieved the result that I wanted from this drawing, as I have changed the hair style over from the traditional fringe hair style she used for the video to a hair style that is more free, where she has no fringe whatsoever, but instead, long hair.

Below is my third artistic interpretation of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, in her full glory.

Madonna (I'll Remember) [1994]
Madonna (I’ll Remember) [1994]

I feel absolutely pleased with the overall result I have achieved from producing this drawing, but I have made sure to carefully fine-tune certain areas of the drawing that did need some small changes.

I can admit when I began to draw Madonna for the third time, it was quite difficult for me to draw her from this angle, as her head is tilted slightly, which meant I would have to work very carefully with the face proportions, including getting the features of her face almost correct, but overall, I am absolutely thrilled with the final result I have achieved from my third artistic interpretation of Madonna and I couldn’t wait to share my creative side to drawing with all of you.

If you liked my third artistic interpretation of Madonna and if you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to May!

Welcome to May on Mother Nature! As the next couple of weeks are set to get warmer considering that Summer is just a few weeks away, it’s great to say that the weather is finally looking up. Today has actually been a lovely day and I hope this lovely weather continues.

Over the course of this month, I will be very busy with my college studies, but this may mean I’ll be publishing articles less frequently than I did last month, considering last month was extremely productive, but fear not, as I will be heading up to London on Tuesday 10th May to the Barbican Gallery where Madonna was a few weeks ago as I will be going to see an exhibition that comprises of over 250 intuitive works produced by Martin Parr.

As you can imagine, I’m really excited about the trip, though I will be making sure to be cautious about the photographs I will take as I have been given notification that some parts of the Barbican Gallery are okay for taking photographs, whereas some parts of the gallery are restricted in terms of photography, due to security reasons of course which is what I’ve taken into full consideration.

Over the course of this month, I will be focusing more on my studies, but also revision as I have two of the most important GCSE English exams coming up next month and I will be making sure to dedicate a lot of my time to revising as I want to stand a good chance of passing this time around. I will try, however, to fit time in now and then to publish articles on Mother Nature, as I want to make sure I can keep everything balanced so that nothing goes haywire whilst I’m studying or writing articles.

Until then, Welcome to May!

Alex Smithson

It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creative Side Free!

We all have our own ways of being creative, but just how do we set that creativity of ours free? Well, it’s pretty easy to do so nowadays, as a lot of artists record time-lapse clips which are often uploaded to Instagram, Vine, Twitter and even Facebook, but it’s being able to document the process that is often the most crucial key factor of drawing.

Recently, I published two artistic interpretation articles which were based on the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, with possibly a third on the way (still thinking about it), as I did the first one based on a photograph taken during the Ray of Light era, while the second artistic interpretation, which I published most recently, was of Madonna during the 1986 True Blue Era, based on the iconic photograph that Herb Ritts took of her 30 years ago.

I love the thought of drawing, because it helps me to set my creativity free, as well as the kind of ideas that I’ve had in mind beforehand. I always believe that setting your creativity free is good, as this can help you to really produce something that no-one else will be able to produce, even if they tried.

Of course, being creative can be difficult because it’s how you design something, whether it would be to do with designing something on a computer, or putting those ideas or concepts onto paper, and yes, at times I have had the occasional creativity block, and it can be annoying at times, but it’s when we let our sub-conscious minds wander when drawing that often makes us produce the best pieces of work that we didn’t think we could produce.

You might remember 3 years ago I went to Kelsey Park during the 6-week Summer Break that I was on when I finished Year 10. Well I didn’t realise this, but when I took that photograph of the Canada Goose, which all of you have seen, I actually didn’t realise that the photograph of the Canada Goose would be the most iconic photograph I had taken.

The year after I took that iconic photograph, I revisited Kelsey Park again, but this time took a photo of a Squirrel which had clenched both its little hands together, like as if it was fist bumping itself. That, to me was also iconic because it’s something that caught my eye.

The third photo I remember which was also iconic, which I included on Book #2: “A Year in Photography” was of the Tom Aytch graffiti wall in Shirley Hills, in Croydon, when a photographer was standing at the wall taking photos of the panoramic view, and that was an iconic photo of mine as I had also used a filter on that photograph to make it look and appear more professional.

In terms of drawing, however, I didn’t always do drawing after I finished my time for good at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, but that changed when I enrolled onto the UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course at Croydon College back in 2014. I have noticed my drawing skills have rapidly improved over the course of the past two years, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used my drawing skills wisely with drawing Madonna, and it’s an absolute relief that I’ve managed to showcase what I’ve worked on. Drawing Madonna was the best choice I had in mind, and I feel absolutely pleased that I’ve used her as an example for ideas based on the artistic interpretation drawings I did of her.

In terms of creativity, I know it’s always about being original, but it’s also about being able to express yourself in your work, as well as how you produce your work, and not just that, but whether it comes to drawing or taking photos, or even if it comes to designing something, you’ll be able to say that you had made sure to do something creative with your time, and that you chose to set your creativity free.

To end, I would like to say: It’s Finally Time to Set Your Creativity Free!”

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

Madonna: Artistic Interpretation #2: The True Blue Era (1986)

As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986.

This drawing took from Friday 25th March to Tuesday 29th March to complete, and has to be one of the most difficult drawings I’ve produced yet. It’s worth the time drawing, because I can finally set my creativity free after a long while. It’s amazing what a 5B pencil can produce, and I just feel so fortunate that I can draw what I’m good at.

Over the course of the few days I’ve been producing this drawing, I’ve already been asked by one of my friends upon request if I can draw them, and I will, and I recently had some feedback given that I’ve been documenting my progress of this drawing on the photo-sharing service, Instagram, and I was told by one of my Instagram followers that it was so good, and it really brought a smile to my face.

I think with this drawing I wanted it to be based around not just that era, but also around how I artistically interpret Madonna as a musician.

Artistic Interpretation 2 - Madonna - The True Blue Era (Final Version)

The final statistics of the Rebel Heart Tour that Madonna brought to a remarkable close on the 20th March show that the tour has officially grossed $169,804,336, with full attendance (1,045,479 / 1,045,479).

This is a fantastic milestone of its own that marks the end of the Rebel Heart Era on such a positive note. I also feel glad to have done this drawing freehand with the photo reference of Madonna during her True Blue Era, which was all the way back in 1986. Exactly 30 years ago. Wow! Time sure has flown.

To celebrate this milestone, I have officially uploaded and published a video of this drawing whilst it was in progress, and it will show you the progress that I have made in drawing my second artistic interpretation of Madonna, right up to the very end ☺.

If you liked my second artistic interpretation drawing of Madonna, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated and I hope you liked the drawing and the video ☺.

Alex Smithson

My Artistic Interpretation of Madonna

From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original.

In this drawing, however, I did use a photo of Madonna from the Ray of Light era, but I didn’t trace her at all. Instead, I did the drawing freehand by looking at my computer screen, and then I drew freehand as I went along. I studied the photo while I was drawing, so that I could create my own interpretation of Madonna during the Ray of Light era.

Because it took some time to complete, I wanted to make sure that I could show my creative side to life in the artistic sense, and because my drawing skills had rapidly improved over the course of last year and the year before, I thought it would be nice to pay homage to Madonna as she has left a positively remarkable impact not just on my life, but on the lives of all of us, and there is no doubt that she is actually one of the most revolutionary musicians around.

I don’t care about the controversy at the end of the day that centres around her, all I care about is that she is putting herself out there for all of us and making sure to stand up and fight for what we all believe in, and it’s about time. I look up to Madonna as she is always there to inspire and make us all believe in ourselves and that we can be the best we can be.

But one thing I can say about her is she is brave at being dangerous at certain things, because I certainly couldn’t take the kind of risks she can take, and I admire Madonna entirely, because she might feel afraid to do something like any of us would, but she is brave because she goes for those risks head-on and it’s been a lot of strength, determination, courage, passion and love that has made Madonna the independent woman she is today.

As yesterday drew Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour to a remarkable close, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase the drawing I’ve done. Please keep in mind that it will of course look different to the original drawing, but I wanted to make sure my artistic interpretation of Madonna was original.

Without further ado, here is my artistic interpretation of the Queen of Pop Songstress, Madonna, in drawing form.

My Artistic Interpretation of Madonna

It’s the first time in almost a year since I last did anything drawing-based, and this is the first time I’ve ever attempted drawing someone famous including their facial features and hair, so as you can imagine it was difficult for me to draw this, but all that hard work and free time drawing Madonna was absolutely worth it. I love how it’s turned out to be honest, and it’s a way of me saying with inspiration from Madonna that we should all be ‘Living for Love’ no matter what, because after all, love really does lift us up even at the most difficult of times. I hope my drawing inspires all of you :-).

If you liked my first ever artistic interpretation of Madonna, please feel free to feedback your thoughts on my first ever artistic drawing. Your feedback is absolutely appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Case Study #7: Eva Perón | 7th May 1919 – 26th July 1952 | Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.

Following on from the lengthy case study, Case Study #6, which focused on John Fitzgerald Kennedy, comes Case Study #7, which will now focus on the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina, Eva Perón. This case study will focus on Eva Perón’s life as it unfolded, featuring specific moments and highlights of her career up until her death at the age of 33 on the 26th July 1952.

María Eva Duarte de Perón (7th May 1919 – 26th July 1952)

Eva Person was the second wife of the Argentinian President, Juan Perón (1895 – 1974) and had also served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. She is also best known by the name, Evita.

She was born in the rural village of Los Toldos, in Pampas, as the youngest of 5 children and at the age of 15 in 1934, Eva Perón had moved to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires to pursue a career as a stage, radio and film actress. There, she had met the Colonel, Juan Perón on the 22nd January 1944 during a charity event at the Luna Park Stadium to benefit the victims of the San Juan Earthquake in Argentina.

Both Eva & Juan Perón were married the following year, and Juan Perón was elected as the President of Argentina in 1946. During the course of the last 6 years of her life, Eva Perón had become a powerful figure within the pro-Perónist trade unions, primarily for speaking on behalf of the labor rights. She had also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, where she had founded and ran the charitable Eva Perón Foundation, championed the women’s suffrage in Argentina, and had also founded and also ran the nation’s first large-scale female political party, which was the Female Perónist Party.

In 1951, Eva Perón had announced her candidacy for the Perónist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, where she had received a lot of great support from the Perónist political base, low-income and working-class Argentines, who were ultimately referred to as the descamisados, or the “shirtless ones“. However, her opposition from the nation’s military and bourgeoisie, which coupled also with her declining health, had ultimately forced her to withdraw her candidacy. In 1952, shortly just before her death from Ovarian Cancer at the age of 33, Eva Perón was given the title of the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress, and just after her death, Eva Perón was given a state funeral, a prerogative that was generally reserved for the heads of state.

Eva Perón has become a massive part of international popular culture, most famously as the subject of the musical, Evita (1976). Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez, who was Evita’s great-niece, claimed that Evita had never left the collective consciousness of Argentines, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who was the first elected female President for Argentina, claimed that the women of her generation owe a debt to Eva Perón for “her example of passion and combativeness”. She had also elicited some controversy for how she would wield the power and the control that she had at her peak.

Eva Perón’s Early Life (Her Early Childhood, Junin and the Move to Buenos Aires)

Eva Perón’s autobiography, La Razón de mi Vida, contains no dates or even any references to her childhood occurrences, and the autobiography doesn’t list her birth place or even her name at birth. According to Junin’s civil registry, a birth certificate had shown that one Maria Eva Duarte was born on the 7th May 1922. Her baptismal certificate, however, listed another date of birth of the 7th May 1919 under the name, Eva Maria Ibarguren. It is thought, however, that in 1945, the adult Eva Perón had created a forgery of her birth certificate for her marriage.

Eva Perón had spent her childhood in Junin, in the Buenos Aires Province. Her parents, Juan Duarte, and Juana Ibarguren (sometimes referred to as Doña Juana), were descended from Basque immigrants. Juan Duarte, a wealthy rancher from nearby Chivilcoy, already had a wife and family there, and at that time in rural Argentina, it wasn’t uncommon for a wealthy man to have multiple families.

When Eva was a year old, Duarte had returned permanently to his legal family, leaving Juana Ibarguren and her children in severe penury. Ibarguren and her children were forced to move to the poorest area of Junin. Los Toldos was a village in the dusty region of Las Pampas, with a reputation as a desolate place of abject poverty. To support herself and her children, Ibarguren had sewed clothes for neighbours. The family, however, was stigmatised by the abandonment of the father and by the illegitimate status of the children under Argentine law, and was consequently somewhat isolated. A desire to expunge this part of her life may have been the motivation for Eva Perón to arrange the destruction of her original birth certificate in 1945.

When Duarte had suddenly died and his mistress and their children sought to attend his funeral, there was an unpleasant scene at the church gates. Although Juana and the children were permitted to enter and pay their respects to Duarte, they were promptly directed out of the church, and Mrs. Juan Duarte did not want her husband’s mistress and children at the funeral, and, as those of the legitimate wife, her orders were respected.

Junín
Prior to the abandonment of Juana Ibarguren, Juan Duarte had been her sole means of support, and the biographer, John Barnes, wrote that after this abandonment, all that Duarte had left to the family was a document that declared that the children were his, which had thus enabled them to use the Duarte surname. Soon after, Juana had moved her children to a one-room apartment in Junín.
To pay the rent on their single-roomed home, the mother and daughters had taken up the job roles of being the cooks in the houses of the local estancias.
Eventually owing to Eva’s older brother’s financial help, the family had moved into a bigger house, which they had later transformed into a boarding house, and it was during this time that young Eva had often participated in school plays and also in concerts. One of her favourite past-times was the cinema, and although Eva Perón’s mother had apparently had a few plans for her, wanting to marry her off to one of the local bachelors, Eva had herself, dreamed of becoming a famous actress.
Her love of acting was reinforced when, in the October of 1933, she had played a small role in a school play, which was called: “Arriba estudiantes (Students Arise)“, in which Barnes describes the school play as “an emotional, patriotic, flag-waving melodrama.” After the play, Eva Perón was determined to become an actress.
The Move to Buenos Aires
In Eva Perón’s autobiography, she had explained that all of the people from her own town who had been to the big cities had described them as “marvellous places, where nothing was given but wealth”, and in 1934, at just the age of 15, Eva had escaped her poverty-stricken village, when, according to a popular myth, she ran off with a young musician to the nation’s capital of Buenos Aires. The young couple’s relationship would end almost as quickly as it began, but she had, however, remained in Buenos Aires.
Eva Perón had begun to pursue jobs on the stage and also on the radio, and she had eventually become a film actress. She had a series of relationships, and via some of these men, she did have to acquire a number of her modelling appointments. She had bleached her natural black hair to blonde, a look of which that she would maintain for the duration of her life.
It’s often reported that Eva had travelled to Buenos Aires by train with the tango singer, Agustín Magaldi. However, the biographers, Marysa Navarro and Nicholas Fraser, have maintained that this is unlikely, as there is no record of the married Magaldi performing in Junín in 1934 (and even if he had, he would usually travel with his wife). Eva’s sisters have maintained that Eva Perón travelled to Buenos Aires with their mother. Her sister’s have also claimed that Doña Juana had accompanied her daughter to an audition at a radio station and had arranged for Eva Perón to live with the Bustamontes family, who were friends of the Duarte family. While the method of Eva Perón’s escape from her bleak provincial surroundings is debated, she did, however, begin a new life in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires in the 1930s was known as the “Paris of South America”, as the centre of the city had many cafés, restaurants, theatres, movie houses, shops and also bustling crowds. In directive contrast, the 1930s were also the years of great unemployment, poverty and hunger in the capital, and many of the new arrivals from the interiors were forced to live in tenements, boarding houses and in the outlying shanties that had become known as villas miserias.
Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Eva Duarte Perón had to face the difficulties of surviving without formal education or connections, as the city was especially overcrowded during this period of time because of the migrations that were caused by the Great Depression. On the 28th March 1935, Eva Perón had her professional debut in the play: “Mrs. Perez (la Señora de Pérez)” at the Comedias Theatre.
In 1936, Eva Perón had toured nationally with a theatre company, and worked as a model, and not only that, but she was also cast in a few of the B-grade movie melodramas. In 1942, Eva Perón had experienced some economic stability when a company, called Candilejas (which was sponsored by a soap manufacturer) had hired her for a daily role in one of their radio dramas, called Muy bien, which had aired on Radio El Mundo (World Radio), which was also the most important radio station in the country at that time.
Later that year, Eva had signed a five-year contract with Radio Belgrano, which would assure her the role in a popular historical-drama programme, called: “Great Women of History“, in which she would play as Elizabeth I of England, Sarah Bernhardt, and the last Tsarina of Russia. Eventually, Eva Duarte Perón had come to co-own the radio company, and by 1943, she was earning five or six thousand pesos a month, which made her one of the highest-paid radio actresses in the nation. Pablo Raccioppi, who had jointly ran Radio El Mundo with Eva Duarte was said to have not liked her, but had noted that she was “thoroughly dependable”.
Eva Perón also had a short-lived film career, as none of the films in which she had starred in were hugely successful. In one of her last films, La cabalgata del circo (The Circus Cavalcade), Eva Perón had played a young country girl who had rivalled an older woman, the movie star, Libertad Lamarque.
As a result of her success with radio dramas and the films, Eva Perón had achieved some financial stability, and in 1942, she was able to move into her own apartment in the exclusive neighbourhood of Recoleta, on 1567 Calle Posadas Street. The next year, Eva Perón had begun her career in politics, as one of the founders of the Argentine Radio Syndicate (ARA).
Eva’s Early Relationship with Juan Perón
On the 15th January 1944, an earthquake had occurred in the town of San Juan, in Argentina, which killed some 10,000 people, and in response to this, Perón, who was then the Secretary of Labour, had established a fund which would help to raise money to help all those that were affected. He had then devised a plan, which was to have an “artistic festival” as a fundraiser, and it was at this point that he had also invited radio and film actors to participate.
After a week of fundraising, all of the participants had met at a gala, which was held at the Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires to benefit the earthquake victims, and it was at this gala, that on the 22nd January 1944, where Eva Duarte would first meet Colonel Juan Perón. Eva had promptly became the colonel’s mistress, and she had even referred to the day that she had met her future husband as her “marvelous day”. Fraser and Navarro had written that Juan Perón and Eva had left together at around two in the morning.
Fraser and Navarro had claimed that Eva Duarte had no knowledge of interest in politics prior to meeting Juan Perón, therefore, she would never argue with Perón or any of his inner circle, but would merely absorb what she had heard. Juan Perón had later claimed in his memoir that he had purposefully selected Eva to be his pupil, and had set out to create in her a “second I.”
However, Fraser and Navarro had suggested that Juan Perón had allowed Eva Duarte such intimate exposure and knowledge of his inner circle because of his age, because he was 48 years old and she was 24 years old when they both met. He had come to politics later on in life, and was therefore free of the preconceived ideas of how his political career should be conducted, and he was willing to accept whatever aid she would offer him.
In May 1944, it was announced that any broadcast performers must organise themselves into a union, and that this union would be the only union that would be allowed to operate in Argentina. Shortly after the union was formed, Eva Duarte was elected as its President. Fraser and Navarro had speculated that Juan Perón made the suggestion that the performers should create a union, and that the other performers likely felt that it was a form of good politics to elect his mistress.
Shortly after she was elected as the President of the Union, Eva Duarte had begun a daily program that was called: “Toward a Better Future”, which would dramatise in soap opera form, in order to make these accomplishments for Juan Perón. Often, Perón’s own speeches were played during the program, and when she spoke, Eva Duarte would speak in her ordinary language as a regular woman who would want her listeners to believe what she, herself, had believed about Juan Perón.
Eva’s Rise to Power
Juan Perón’s arrest
By early 1945, a group of Army officers that were called the GOU, which stands for: “Grupo de Oficiales Unidos” (United Officers Group), also nicknamed: “The Colonels”, had gained considerable influence within the Argentinian Government. The President, Pedro Pablo Ramírez had become very wary of Juan Perón’s growing power with the government, but was unable to curb that power, and on the 24th February 1944, Ramírez had signed his own resignation paper, which Fraser and Navarro had claimed was drafted by Juan Perón himself.
Edelmiro Julián Farrell, who was a friend of Juan Perón, became the President, and Juan Perón had returned to his job as the Labor Minister, though it was claimed by Fraser and Navarro that by this point, Juan Perón was the most powerful man in the Argentinian Government. On the 9th October 1945, Juan Perón was arrested by his opponents within the government, who had feared that due to the strong support of the descamisados, the workers and the poor of the nation, Perón’s popularity might eclipse that of the sitting President.
Six days later, between 250,000 to 350,000 people had gathered in front of the Casa Rosada, which was Argentina’s Government House, to demand Juan Perón’s release, and their wish was granted, and at 11:00 PM, Juan Perón had stepped on to the balcony of the Casa Rosada and addressed the crowd. The biographer, Robert D. Crassweller, had claimed that this moment was very powerful because it was very dramatic, and he had recalled many of the important aspects of Argentina’s history.
Crassweller had written that Juan Perón had enacted the role of a caudillo by addressing his people in the tradition of Argentine leaders, Rosas and Yrigoyen. He had also claimed that the evening had contained “mystic overtones” of a “quasi-religious” nature. Eva Perón was often credited with organising the rally of thousands that freed Juan Perón from prison on the 17th October 1945. This version of events was mainly popularised in the movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was based on Evita, though most of the historians, however, agreed that these version of events were unlikely.
At the time of Juan Perón’s imprisonment, Eva was still merely an actress, as she had no political clout with the various labor unions, and it was also claimed that she was not well-liked within Perón’s inner circle, nor was she liked by many within the film and radio businesses at this point. When Juan Perón was imprisoned, Eva Duarte Perón was suddenly disenfranchised, and in reality, the massive rally that had freed Juan Perón from prison was organised by the various unions, such as the General Labor Confederation, or CGT as they had come to be known.
To this day, the 17th October is something of a holiday for the Justicialist Party in Argentina (which is celebrated as Día de la Lealtad, or “Loyalty Day”). What would follow soon after was shocking and was also nearly unheard of. The well-connected and politically rising star, Juan Perón, married Eva Duarte, and despite Eva’s childhood illegitimacy, and having an uncertain reputation, Perón was in love with Eva, and her loyal devotion to him, even while he was under arrest, touched him deeply, and so he married her, which would provide her a respectability that she had never known. Eva & Juan Perón were married discreetly in a civil ceremony by Junín on the 18th October 1945, and also in a church wedding on the 9th December 1945.
The 1946 Presidential Election Victory
After he was released from prison, Juan Perón had decided to campaign for the Presidency of the Nation, to which he had won a landslide, and Eva had campaigned heavily for her husband during his 1946 Presidential Bid. Using her weekly radio show, she would deliver powerful speeches with heavy populist rhetorics, which would urge the poor to align themselves with Perón’s movement. Although she had become wealthy from her radio and modelling successes, she had also highlighted her own humble upbringing as a way of showing her solidarity with the impoverished classes.
Along with her husband, Eva Perón had visited every corner of the country, which would make her become the first woman in Argentina’s history to appear in public on the campaign trail with her husband. Eva’s appearance alongside her husband would often offend the establishment of the wealthy, the military, especially those in political life. However, she was also very popular with the general public who had known her from her radio and motion picture appearances. It was during this phase of her life that she had first encouraged the Argentinian population to refer to her, not as “Eva Perón”, but simply as “Evita”, which is a Spanish diminutive or affectionate nickname that is roughly equivalent to “Little Eva” or “Evie”.
Eva’s European Tour
In 1947, Eva had embarked on a much-publicised “Rainbow Tour” of Europe, where she would meet with the numerous dignitaries and heads of state, such as Francisco Franco and Pope Pius XII. The biographers, Fraser and Navarro had written that the tour had its genesis in an invitation that the Spanish leader had extended to Juan Perón. For political reasons, it was decided that Eva Perón, rather than Juan Perón, should make the visit. Fraser and Navarro had written that Argentina had only recently emerged from its “wartime quarantine”, thus taking its place in the United Nations (UN), and improving relations with the United States.
Therefore, a visit to Franco, with António Salazar of Portugal, who was the last remaining West European Authoritarian Leaders in power, would be diplomatically frowned upon internationally. Fraser and Navarro had written that Eva had decided that, if Juan Perón would not accept Franco’s invitation for a state visit to Spain, then she would. The advisors would then decide that Eva should visit many European countries, in addition to Spain. This would make it seem that Eva’s sympathies were not specifically with Franco’s fascist Spain, but with all of Europe. The tour was billed, not as a political tour, but as a non-political “goodwill” tour.
Eva Perón was well received in Spain, where she had visited the tombs of the Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella in the Capilla Real de Granada. Francoist Spain had not recovered from the Spanish Civil War (the autarkic economy and the UN embargo had meant that the country couldn’t feed its people). During her visit to Spain, Eva Perón had handed out 100-peseta notes to many of the poor children that she had met on her journey, and she had also received from Franco the highest award that was given by the Spanish government, the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
Eva had then visited Rome, where the reception wasn’t as warm as it had been for her in Spain, and although Pope Pius XII didn’t give her a Papal decoration, she was allowed the time usually allotted for any queens and was given a rosary. Her next stop was France, where she was generally well received, and she had visited the Palace of Versailles, amongst other sites. She had also met with Charles de Gaulle, and was promised by France with two shipments of wheat.
Whilst she was in France, Eva Perón had received word that George VI would not receive her when she planned to visit Britain, regardless of what his Foreign Office might advise, and that her visit would not be viewed as a state visit. Fraser and Navarro had written that Eva had regarded the Royal Family’s refusal to meet her as a snub, and it was from there that she had cancelled her trip to the United Kingdom. Eva had, however, given the official reason of “exhaustion” for her on not going on to Britain.
Eva had also visited Switzerland during her European tour, a visit that was viewed as the worst part of the trip. According to the book: “Evita: A Biography by John Barnes”, while she was travelling down a street with many people crowding her car, someone had thrown two stones and smashed the windshield. She had thrown her hands up in shock, but was not injured. Later on, whilst she was sitting with the Foreign Minister, protesters had thrown tomatoes at her, but the tomatoes had hit the Foreign Minister and they splattered onto Eva’s dress. After these two events occurred, Eva had had enough, and after two months, she had returned to Argentina.
The Members of the Perónist opposition had speculated that the true purpose of the European tour was to deposit the funds into a Swiss bank account. “The opposition in Buenos Aires”, which was written by Fraser and Navarro, had “assumed that the genuine purpose of the whole European visit was for Eva and her husband to deposit money in Swiss bank accounts, and that the rest had been devised to conceal this. Many wealthy Argentines did this, but there are many more convenient and less conspicuous ways of depositing money in Swiss accounts than meeting the Swiss Foreign Minister and being shown around a watch factory.” Fraser and Navarro had concluded with: “Was there a Swiss bank account? It seems unlikely.”
During her tour to Europe, Eva Perón was featured in a cover story for TIME Magazine, and the cover’s caption–”Eva Perón: Between two worlds, an Argentine rainbow”– was a reference to the name that was given to Eva’s European tour, The Rainbow Tour. This had been the only time in the periodical’s history that a South American first lady had appeared alone on its cover. In 1951, Eva had appeared again with Juan Perón. However, the 1947 cover story had also been the first publication that had mentioned that Eva Perón was born out-of-wedlock. In retaliation, the periodical had been banned from Argentina for several months.
After returning to Argentina from Europe, Evita had never again appeared in public with the complicated hairdos of her movie star days. The brilliant gold colour had become more subdued in tone, and not only that, but the style had changed as well, as her hair was pulled back severely into a heavy braided chignon. Additionally, her extravagant clothing had become more refined after the tour. She had no longer wore the elaborate hats, and neither the form-fitting dresses of the Argentinian designers.
It was soon after, however, that she had adopted a simpler, yet more fashionable Paris couture, and she had become particularly attached to the fashions of Christian Dior, as well as the jewels of Cartier. In an attempt to cultivate a more serious political persona, Eva Perón had began to appear in public by wearing conservative, though stylish tailleurs (which was a business-like combination of both skirts and jackets), which were also made by Christian Dior, and other Paris couture houses.
Eva’s Charitable & Feminist Works
The Eva Perón Foundation
The Sociedad de Beneficencia (Society of Beneficience), a charity group that was made up of 87 society ladies, was responsible for most of the charity works in Buenos Aires, prior to the election of Juan Perón. Fraser and Navarro had written that at one point, the Sociedad had been an enlightened institution, which had cared for orphans and homeless women, but those days had long since passed by the time of the first term of Juan Perón, and in the 1800s, the Sociedad had been supported by the private contributions, largely by those of the husbands of the society ladies, but by the 1940s, the Sociedad was supported by the government.
It has been the tradition of the Sociedad to elect the First Lady of Argentina as the President of the charity, but the ladies of the Sociedad hadn’t approved of Eva Perón’s impoverished background, let alone her lack of formal education, as well as her former career as an actress. Fraser and Navarro had written that the ladies of the Sociedad were afraid that Evita would set a bad example for the orphans, and it was therefore that the society ladies did not extend to Evita the position of President of their organisation.
It has often been said that Evita had the government funding for the Sociedad cut off in retaliation, though Fraser and Navarro have suggested that these version of events are in dispute, but that the government funding that had previously supported the Sociedad had now gone to support Evita’s own foundation. The Fundación María Eva Duarte de Perón was created on the 8th July 1948, but it was later renamed to, quite simply, the Eva Perón Foundation, and its funding had begun with 10,000 pesos being provided by Evita herself.
In “The Woman with the Whip”, which was the first English language biography of Eva Perón’s, the author, Mary Main, wrote that no account records were kept for the foundation because it was merely a means of funnelling the government money into private Swiss bank accounts, which would be controlled by the Perón’s. Fraser and Navarro, however, have countered these claims by writing that Ramón Cereijo, the Minister of Finance, had kept records, and that the foundation had “began as the simplest response to the poverty (Evita) encountered each day in her office” as well as “the appalling backwardness of social services—or charity, as it was still called—in Argentina.”
Crassweller had written that the foundation was supported by the donations of cash and goods from the Perónist unions and private businesses, and that the Confederación General del Trabajo had donated three man-days (which was later reduced to two) of salary for every worker per year. The tax on the lottery and movie tickets had also helped to support the foundation, as did a levy on casino and revenue from the horse races. Crassweller had also noted that there were some cases of businesses being pressured to donate to the foundation, with negative repercussions being the result if the requests for donations weren’t met.
Within a few years, the foundation had received assets in cash and goods in excess of 3 billion pesos, or over $200 million at the exchange rate of the late 1940s. It had employed 14,000 workers, 6,000 of whom were construction workers, and 26 priests. It had purchased and distributed annually 400,000 pairs of shoes, 500,000 sewing machines and 200,000 cooking pots. The foundation had also given scholarships, and had also built homes, hospitals, as well as other charitable institutions. Every aspect of the foundation was under Eva’s supervision. The foundation had also built entire communities, such as Evita City, which still exists today. Fraser and Navarro have claimed that due to the works and health services of the foundation, for the first time in history, there was no inequality in the Argentinian health care system.
Fraser and Navarro had also written that it was Eva’s work with the foundation that had played a large role in her idealisation, even leading some to consider her as being a saint, and although it was unnecessary from a practical standpoint, Eva had set aside many hours per day to meet with the poor who had requested help from her foundation, and during these meetings with the poor, Eva had often kissed the poor, and had also allowed them to kiss her.
Eva was even witnessed placing her hands on the suppurated wounds of the sick and poor, touching the leprous, and also kissing the syphilitic. Fraser and Navarro had written that though Argentina is secular in many respects, it was also essentially a Catholic country. Therefore, when Evita had kissed the syphilitic and touched the leprous, she had “…ceased to be the President’s wife and acquired some of the characteristics of saints depicted in Catholicism.”
The poet, José María Castiñeira de Dios, a man who had come from a wealthy background, had reflected on the times he had witnessed Eva meeting with the poor, by saying that: “I had had a sort of literary perception of the people and the poor and she had given me a Christian one, thus allowing me to become a Christian in the profoundest sense….”.
Fraser and Navarro had written that towards the end of her life, Eva Perón was working from as many as 20 to 22 hours per day in her foundation, and had often ignored her own husband’s request that she cut back on her workload and take the weekends off. The more that she had worked with the poor in her foundation, the more she had adopted an outraged attitude towards the existence of poverty, by saying: “Sometimes I have wished my insults were slaps or lashes. I’ve wanted to hit people in the face to make them see, if only for a day, what I see each day I help the people.”
Crassweller had written that Eva had become very fanatical about her work in the foundation, and had also felt on a crusade against the very concept and existence of poverty, as well as social ills. “It is not surprising”, wrote Crassweller: “that as her public crusades and her private adorations took on a narrowing intensity after 1946, they simultaneously veered toward the transcendental.” Crassweller had compared Evita to Ignatius Loyola, by saying that she had come to be akin to a one-woman Jesuit Order.
The Female Perónist Party & The Women’s Suffrage
The biographers, Fraser and Navarro, had written that Eva Perón was often credited with gaining the right to vote for Argentinian women, and while she did make the radio addresses in support of the women’s suffrage, as well as publishing articles in her Democracia newspaper, asking male Perónists to support the women’s rights to vote, ultimately, the ability to grant to all women the right to vote was beyond Eva’s powers. Fraser and Navarro had claimed that Eva’s actions were limited to supporting a bill, which was introduced by one of her supporters, Eduardo Colom, a bill which was eventually dropped.
A new women’s suffrage bill was introduced, to which the Senate of Argentina had sanctioned on the 21st August 1946, and that it was necessary to wait more than a year before the House of Representatives had sanctioned it on the 9th September 1947. Law 13,010 had established the equality of the political rights between men and women, as well as the universal suffrage in Argentina. Finally, Law 13,010 was approved unanimously, and in a public celebration and ceremony, Juan Perón had signed the law, which granted all women the rights to vote, and then he handed the bill to Eva Perón, which would symbolically make it hers.
Eva Perón had then created the Female Perónist Party, which was the first large female political party in the nation. Fraser and Navarro had written that by 1951, the party had 500,000 members, and also 3,600 headquarters across the country. Fraser and Navarro had also written that while Eva Perón did not consider herself to be a feminist, her impact on the political life of women was decisive. Thousands of previously apolitical women had entered politics because of Eva, and they were the first women to be active in Argentinian politics. The combination of female suffrage, and the organisation of the Female Perónist Party had granted Juan Perón a large majority (63%) of the vote in the 1951 Presidential Election.
The 1951 Presidential Election – The Vice Presidential Nomination, Eva’s Declining Health, the Re-Election and Spiritual Leader of the Nation.
In 1951, Eva had set her sights on earning a place on the ballot as a candidate for Vice-President. This move had angered many of the military leaders who had despised Eva and her increasing powers within the government. According to the Argentine Constitution, the Vice President automatically succeeds the President in the event of the President’s death. The possibility of Eva becoming the President in the event of Juan Perón’s death was not something that the military could accept.
She did, however, receive great support from the working class, the unions, and the Perónist Women’s Party. The intensity of the support that she had drawn from these groups is said to have surprised even Juan Perón himself. Fraser and Navarro had written that the wide support Eva’s proposed candidacy had generated had indicated to him that Eva had become as important to the members of the Perónist party as Juan Perón himself was.
On the 22nd August 1951, the unions had held a mass rally of two million people, called: “Cabildo Abierto.” (The name “Cabildo Abierto” was a reference and tribute to the first local Argentinian government of the May Revolution in 1810.) The Perón’s had addressed the crowd from the balcony of a huge scaffolding that was set up on the Avenida 9 de Julio, which was several blocks away from the Casa Rosada, the official government house of Argentina. Overhead were the two large portraits of Eva and Juan Perón, and it was claimed that the “Cabildo Abierto” was the largest public display of support in history for a female political figure.
At the mass rally, the crowd had demanded that Eva Perón should publicly announce her candidacy as Vice President, though she had pleaded for more time in order to make her decision. The exchange between Evita and the crowd of two million had become, for a time, a genuine and spontaneous dialogue, with the crowd, chanting: “¡Evita, Vice-Presidente!” When Evita had asked for more time so that she could make up her mind, the crowd had demanded, “¡Ahora, Evita, ahora!” (“Now, Evita, now!”). Eventually, they had come to a compromise, and Evita had told the audience that she would announce her decision over the radio a few days later.
Eva Duarte Perón’s Declining Health
Eventually, she had declined the invitation to run for Vice-President, by saying that her only ambition was that—in the large chapter of history that would be written about her husband—the footnotes would mention a woman who had brough the “…hopes and dreams of the people to the president”, a woman who would eventually turn those hopes and dreams into “glorious reality.” In the Perónist rhetoric, this event had come to be referred to as “The Resurrection”, which would portray Evita as being a selfless woman in line with the Hispanic myth of marianismo.
Most of the biographers, however, have postulated that Evita didn’t so much renounce her ambition, as well as bowing to the pressure from her husband, the military, and the Argentine upper class, who had preferred that she doesn’t enter the race.
On the 9th January 1950, Eva Duarte Perón had fainted in public and had undergone surgery three days later, and although it was reported that she had undergone an appendectomy, she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. These fainting bouts had continued through 1951 (including the evening after “Cabildo abierto”), with extreme weakness and severe vaginal bleeding.
By 1951, it had become evident that Eva’s health was rapidly deteriorating, and although her diagnosis was withheld from her by Juan, she already knew that she wasn’t well, and a bid for the Vice-Presidency was not practical. Only a few months after “the Renunciation”, Evita had undergone a secret radical hysterectomy in an attempt to eradicate her advanced cervical cancer. In 2011, a Yale neurosurgeon had studied Eva’s skull x-rays and the photographic evidence and the neurosurgeon had said that Perón may have been given a prefrontal lobotomy in the last months of her life: “…to relieve the pain, agitation and anxiety she suffered in the final months of her illness.”
On the 4th June 1952, Eva Duarte Perón had ridden with Juan Perón in a parade through Buenos Aires in celebration of his re-election as the President of Argentina. Eva was by this point so unwell that she was unable to stand without support. Underneath her oversized fur coat was a frame that was made of plaster and wire that would allow her to stand, and she took a triple dose of painkillers before the parade, and also took another two doses when she had returned home.
In the ceremony, a few days after Juan Perón’s second inauguration, Eva Duarte Perón was given the official title of the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation.”
Eva Duarte Perón’s Death & Aftermath
Although Eva had undergone a hysterectomy that was performed by the American surgeon, George T. Pack, the cancer had metastasized and had returned rapidly. Eva was the first Argentine to undergo chemotherapy (which was a novel treatment at that time). Despite all of the available treatment that she was given, she had become emaciated, and weighed only 36 kg (79 lb) by June 1952. Eva Duarte Perón sadly passed away on Saturday 26th July 1952, at 8:25 PM, at the age of 33.
The Radio broadcasts throughout the country were interrupted with the announcement that: “The Press Secretary’s Office of the Presidency of the Nation fulfills its very sad duty to inform the people of the Republic that at 20:25 hours Mrs. Eva Perón, Spiritual Leader of the Nation, died.” Ordinary activities were ceased; any movies that were playing were stopped; all restaurants were closed and the patrons were shown to the door.
Mourning
Immediately after Eva’s passing, the government had suspended all official activities for two days and had ordered that all flags would be flown at half-mast for ten full days. It had soon become apparent, however, that these measures had fallen short of reflecting popular grief, and the crowd that were outside of the presidential residence, where Evita died, had grown dense, and had congested the streets for ten blocks in each direction.
The morning after Eva’s death, while her body was being moved to the Ministry of Labour Building, eight people were crushed to death in the throngs, and in the following 24 hours, over 2,000 people were treated in city hospitals for the injuries that they sustained in the rush to be near Evita as her body was being transported, and thousands more would be treated on the spot. For the following two weeks, the lines would stretch for many city blocks with mourners waiting for hours to see Eva Duarte Perón’s body lying at the Ministry of Labour.
The streets of Buenos Aires had overflowed with gigantic piles of flowers, and within a day of Eva’s death, all of the flower shops in Buenos Aires had run out of stock. A lot of flowers were to be flown in from all over the country, and as far away as Chile, and despite the fact that Eva Perón had never held a political office, she was eventually given a state funeral, which was usually reserved for a head of state, along with a full Roman Catholic requiem mass. A memorial was held for the Argentinian team during the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki due to Eva Duarte Perón’s death during those Olympic Games.
On Saturday 9th August, the body was transferred to the Congress Building for an additional day of public viewing, and a memorial service was attended by the entire Argentine legislative body. The next day, after a final Mass, the coffin was laid on a gun carriage that was pulled by the CGT officials. It was then followed by Perón, his cabinet, Eva’s family and friends, including the delegates and representatives of the Partido Peronista Femenino—then workers, nurses and students of the Eva Perón Foundation. Flowers were thrown from balconies and windows.
There were different interpretations of the popular mourning of Eva’s death. Some reporters had viewed the mourning as being authentic, while others saw the public succumbing to another of the “passion plays” of the Perónist regime. TIME Magazine had reported that the Perónist government had enforced the observance of a daily period of five minutes of mourning, following a daily radio announcement.
During Perón’s time, the children that were born to unmarried parents did not have the same legal rights as those born to married parents, though the biographer, Julie M. Taylor, the professor of anthropology at the Rice University, has said that Evita was well aware of the pain of being born “illegitimate”. Taylor speculated that Eva’s awareness of this may have influenced her decision to have the law changed, so that “illegitimate” children could henceforth be referred to as “natural” children.
Upon her death, the Argentine public was told that Evita was only 30 years old, though the discrepancy was meant to dovetail with Evita’s earlier tampering with her birth certificate, and after becoming the First Lady in 1946, Evita had her birth records altered to read that she was born to married parents, and she placed her birth date three years forward, making herself younger.
Memorial Plans
Shortly after her death, Dr. Pedro Ara was approached to embalm Eva’s body, though Fraser and Navarro had written that it was doubtful that Evita had ever expressed a wish to be embalmed, and they also suggested that it was most likely Juan Perón’s decision. Dr. Pedro Ara was a professor of anatomy who had studied in Vienna and had maintained an academic career in Madrid. His work was occasionally referred to as “the art of death.” His highly advanced embalming technique had consisted of replacing the corpse’s blood with glycerine, which would preserve all of the organs, including the brain, which would create a lifelike appearance, giving the body the appearance of: “artistically rendered sleep”.
Dr. Pedro Ara was known in the Buenos Aires society for his work, and among the people he had embalmed was the Spanish composer, Manuel de Falla. Dr. Pedro Ara had claimed that his embalming of Evita’s corpse had begun on the night of her death, and that by the next morning, “the body of Eva Perón was completely and infinitely incorruptible”, and suitable for display to the public.
In the book: “Perón and the Enigmas of Argentina”, the biographer, Robert D. Crassweller had claimed that the English-speaking nations of North America and Europe had largely misunderstood Argentina’s response to the death of Eva Perón as well as the ornate funeral that she was granted. Crassweller also attributed this misunderstanding to the unique cultural makeup of the Perón’s and Argentina, by saying that the Perón’s were of the Hispanic tradition and that their opposition was largely of the British Ancestry.
The Disappearance & The Return of Eva Duarte Perón’s Corpse
Shortly after Eva’s death, plans were made to construct a memorial in her honour, and the monument, which was to be a statue of a man representing the descamisados, was projected to be larger than the Statue of Liberty. Eva’s body was to be stored in the base of the monument, and in the tradition of Lenin’s corpse, to be displayed for the public. While the monument was being constructed, Eva’s embalmed body was displayed in her former office at the CGT Building for almost two years. Before the monument to Evita was completed, Juan Perón was overthrown as a result of a military coup, the Revolución Libertadora, in 1955. In 1955, Juan Perón hastily fled the country and was unable to make the arrangements to secure Evita’s body.
Following his flight, a military dictatorship took power, and the new authorities had removed Eva’s body from display, and its whereabouts were a mystery for 16 years. From 1955 to 1971, the military dictatorship of Argentina had issued a ban on Perónism. It also became illegal, not only to possess pictures of Juan and Eva Perón in one’s home, but to also speak their names. In 1971, the military had revealed that Eva’s body was buried in a crypt in Milan, in Italy, under the name: “Maria Maggi”. It had also appeared that her body had been damaged during its transport and storage, such as compressions to her face and disfigurement of one of her feet due to the body having been left in an upright position.
In 1995, Tomás Eloy Martínex had published Santa Evita, which was a fictionalised work that would propound many new stories about the escapades of the corpse. The allegations that her body was the object of inappropriate attention were derived from his description of an ’emotional necrophilia’ by embalmers, Coronel Koenig, and his assistant, Arancibia. Many of the primary and secondary references to his novel had inaccurately stated that her body had been defiled in some way, which resulted in the widespread belief in this myth. Also included were the allegations that many wax copies were made, that the corpse had been damaged with a hammer, and that one of the wax copies was the object of an officer’s sexual attentions.
Eva Duarte Perón’s Final Resting Place
In 1971, Eva Perón’s body was exhumed and was flown to Spain, where Juan Perón had maintained the corpse in his home. Juan and his third wife, Isabel, had decided to keep the corpse in their dining room, on a platform near the table, and in 1973, Juan Perón had come out of exile and had returned to Argentina, where he had become President for the third time. Juan Perón had died while in office in 1974, and his third wife, Isabel Perón, whom he had married on the 15th November 1961, and who had also been elected the Vice-President, had succeeded him. She had become the first female President in the Western Hemisphere, and Isabel had Eva Perón’s body returned to Argentina and (briefly) displayed her body beside her husband’s body. Perón’s body was later on buried in the Duarte family tomb in the La Recoleta Cemetery, in Buenos Aires.
The Argentinian Government had taken elaborate measures in order to make Perón’s tomb secret, and the tomb’s marble floor has a trapdoor that leads to a compartment containing two coffins. Under that compartment is a second trapdoor and also a second compartment. That is where Perón’s coffin rests, though the biographers, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro have written that the claim is often made that her tomb is so secure that it could withstand a nuclear attack. “It reflects a fear”, they wrote, “a fear that the body will disappear from the tomb and that the woman, or rather the myth of the woman, will reappear.”
Eva “Evita” Duarte Perón’s Legacy & Criticism – Argentina & Latin America, the Allegations of Fascism & International Popular Culture

“In all of Latin America, only one other woman has aroused an emotion, devotion and faith comparable to those awakened by the Virgin of Guadalupe. In many homes, the image of Evita is on the wall next to the Virgin.” — Fabienne Rousso Lenoir

In his essay, which was titled: “Latin America”, which was published in The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners had claimed that the appeal and success of Eva Perón were related to the Latin American mythology and concepts of divinity. McManners had also claimed that Eva Perón had consciously incorporated the aspects of the theology of the Virgin and of Mary Magdalene into her public persona. The Historian, Hubert Herring, has described Eva Perón as being “Perhaps the shrewdest woman yet to appear in public life in Latin America.”

In a 1996 interview, Tomás Eloy Martínez had referred to Eva Perón as: “the Cinderella of the tango and the Sleeping Beauty of Latin America.” He has also suggested that she has remained as an important cultural icon for the same reasons as the fellow Argentine, Che Guevara, by saying that:

“Latin American myths are more resistant than they seem to be. Not even the mass exodus of the Cuban raft people or the rapid decomposition and isolation of Fidel Castro’s regime have eroded the triumphal myth of Che Guevara, which remains alive in the dreams of thousands of young people in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Che as well as Evita symbolize certain naive, but effective, beliefs: the hope for a better world; a life sacrificed on the altar of the disinherited, the humiliated, the poor of the earth. They are myths which somehow reproduce the image of Christ.” – Tomás Eloy Martínez

Although it wasn’t a government holiday, the anniversary of Eva Perón’s death is marked by many Argentines each year, and additionally, Eva Perón has been featured on Argentine coins, and a form of an Argentine currency, called “Evitas” was named in her honour. Ciudad Evita (Evita City), which was established by the Eva Perón Foundation in 1947, is located just outside of Buenos Aires.

Cristina Kirchner, who was the first elected female President in Argentine history, is a Perónist who was occasionally referred to as “The New Evita.” Kirchner has said that she doesn’t want to compare herself to Evita, by claiming that she was a unique phenomenon in Argentine history. Kirchner has also said that the women of her generation, who had come of age in the 1970s, during the military dictatorships in Argentina, owe a debt to Evita for offering an example of passion and combativeness.

On the 26th July 2002, the 50th Anniversary of Eva Perón’s death, a museum was opened in her honour, which was called the Museo Evita, and the museum, which was created by her great-niece, Cristina Alvarez Rodriquez, houses many of Eva Perón’s clothes, portraits, as well as artistic renderings of her life, which has also become a popular tourist attraction. The museum was opened in a building that was once used by the Eva Perón Foundation.

In the book: “Eva Perón: The Myths of a Woman”, the cultural anthropologist, Julie M. Taylor, had claimed that Evita has remained important in Argentina due to the combination of three unique factors, by saying that:

“In the images examined, the three elements consistently linked—femininity, mystical or spirituality power, and revolutionary leadership—display an underlying common theme. Identification with any one of these elements puts a person or a group at the margins of established society and at the limits of institutional authority. Anyone who can identify with all three images lays an overwhelming and echoing claim to dominance through forces that recognize no control in society or its rules. Only a woman can embody all three elements of this power.” – Julie M. Taylor

Julie M. Taylor also argued that the fourth factor in Evita’s continued importance in Argentina related to her status as a dead woman, and the power that death would hold over the public’s imagination. She also suggested that Evita’s embalmed corpse is analogous to the incorruptibility of various Catholic saints, such as Bernadette Soubirous, and also has powerful symbolism within the largely Catholic cultures of Latin America, by also saying that:

“To some extent her continuing importance and popularity may be attributed not only to her power as a woman but also to the power of the dead. However, a society’s vision of the afterlife may be structured, death by its nature remains a mystery, and, until society formally allays the commotion it causes, a source of disturbance and disorder. Women and the dead— death and womanhood —stand in similar relation to structured social forms: outside public institutions, unlimited by official rules, and beyond formal categories. As a female corpse reiterating the symbolic themes of both woman and martyr, Eva Perón perhaps lays double claim to spiritual leadership.” – Julie M. Taylor

John Balfour was the British Ambassador in Argentina during the Perón regime, and described Evita’s popularity, by saying that:

“She was by any standard a very extraordinary woman; when you think of Argentina and indeed Latin America as a men dominated part of the world, there was this woman who was playing a very great role. And of course she aroused very different feelings in the people with whom she lived. The oligarchs, as she called the well-to-do and privileged people, hated her. They looked upon her as a ruthless woman. The masses of the people on the other hand worshipped her. They looked upon her as a lady bountiful who was dispensing Manna from heaven.” – John Balfour

In 2011, two giant murals of Evita were unveiled on the building facades of the current Ministry of Social Development, which is located on 9 de Julio Avenue. These works were painted by the Argentine artist, Alejandro Marmo, and on the 26th July 2012, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Evita’s death, the notes were issued in a value of 100 pesos.

The controversial effigy of Julio Argentino Roca was replaced by that of Eva Duarte Perón, which made her the first actual woman to be featured on the currency of Argentina. The image in the notes were based on a 1952 design, whose sketch was found in the Mint, was made by the engraver, Sergio Pilosio with the artist, Roger Pfund. The printing had totalled 20 million notes; it isn’t clear whether the government will replace the notes that feature Roca and the Desert Campaign.

The biographers, Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro wrote that Juan Perón’s opponents had, from the start, accused Perón of being a fascist, though Spruille Braden, who was a diplomat from the United States, who was also greatly supported by Juan Perón’s opponents, campaigned against Juan Perón’s first candidacy on the platform that Juan Perón was a fascist and also a Nazi.

Fraser and Navarro had also theorised that the perception of the Perón’s as fascists was enhanced during Evita’s 1947 European tour, during which she was a guest of honour of Francisco Franco. By 1947, Franco became politically isolated as one of the few remaining fascists to retain power, and was therefore in desperate need of a political ally. With nearly a third of Argentina’s population of Spanish descent, it had seemed natural for Argentina to have diplomatic relations with Spain.

Commenting on the international perception of Evita during her 1947 European tour, Fraser and Navarro wrote that: “It was inevitable that Evita be viewed in a fascist context. Therefore, both Evita and Perón were seen to represent an ideology which had run its course in Europe, only to re-emerge in an exotic, theatrical, even farcical form in a faraway country.”

Laurence Levine, who was the former President of the U.S-Argentine Chamber of Commerce, wrote that in contrast to the Nazi ideology, the Perón’s were not anti-Semitic. In the book: “Inside Argentina from Perón to Menem: 1950-2000 from an American Point of View”, Laurence Levine wrote that:

“The American government demonstrated no knowledge of Perón’s deep admiration for Italy (and his distaste for Germany, whose culture he found too rigid). Nor did they appreciate that although anti-Semitism existed in Argentina, Perón’s own views and his political associations were not anti-Semitic. They paid no attention to the fact that Perón sought out the Jewish community in Argentina to assist in developing his policies and that one of his most important allies in organizing the industrial sector was José Ber Gelbard, a Jewish immigrant from Poland.” – Laurence Levine

The biographer, Robert D. Crassweller, wrote that: “”Peronism was not fascism”, and that “Peronism was not Nazism.” He also referred to the comments of the U.S Ambassador, George S. Messersmith, and while he visited Argentina in 1947, Messersmith had made the following statement: “There is not as much social discrimination against Jews here as there is right in New York or in most places at home.”

TIME Magazine had published an article that was made by Tomás Eloy Martínez—the Argentine writer, journalist, and the former director of the Latin American program at Rutgers University—which was titled: “The Woman Behind the Fantasy: Prostitute, Fascist, Profligate—Eva Peron Was Much Maligned, Mostly Unfairly”. In this article, Martínez wrote that the accusations that Eva Duarte Perón was a fascist, a Nazi, and a thief had been made against her for decades, and he also wrote that the allegations were untrue, by saying that:

“She was not a fascist—ignorant, perhaps, of what that ideology meant. And she was not greedy. Though she liked jewelry, furs and Dior dresses, she could own as many as she desired without the need to rob others…. In 1964 Jorge Luis Borges stated that ‘the mother of that woman [Evita]’ was ‘the madam of a whorehouse in Junín.’ He repeated the calumny so often that some still believe it or, more commonly, think Evita herself, whose lack of sex appeal is mentioned by all who knew her, apprenticed in that imaginary brothel. Around 1955 the pamphleteer Silvano Santander employed the same strategy to concoct letters in which Evita figures as an accomplice of the Nazis. It is true that (Juan) Perón facilitated the entrance of Nazi criminals to Argentina in 1947 and 1948, thereby hoping to acquire advanced technology developed by the Germans during the war. But Evita played no part.” – Tomás Eloy Martínez

In his 2002 doctoral dissertation at the Ohio State University, Lawrence D. Bell had written that the governments that had preceded Juan Perón had been anti-Semitic, but that his government wasn’t. Juan Perón had “eagerly and enthusiastically” attempted to recruit the Jewish community into his government and set up a branch of the Perónist Party for the Jewish members, known as the Organización Israelita Argentina (OIA).

Perón’s government was the first to court the Argentine Jewish community, and was also the first to appoint the Jewish citizens to public office. Kevin Passmore had written that the Perónist regime, more than any other in Latin America, was accused of being fascist. But he says that the Perónist regime was not being fascist, and what had passed for fascism under Perón never took hold in Latin America. Additionally, because of the fact the Perónist regime had allowed rival political parties to exist, it cannot be described as being totalitarian.

By the late 20th Century, Eva Perón had become the subject of numerous articles, books, stage plays and even musicals, which ranged also from the biography: “The Woman with the Whip” to a 1981 Television movie called Evita Perón with Faye Dunaway being in the title role. The most successful rendering of Eva Perón’s life was the musical production, Evita.

The musical had begun as a concept album, which was co-produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1976, with Julie Covington being in the title role. Elaine Page was later on case in the title role when the concept album was adapted into a musical stage production in London’s West End and won the 1978 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Musical for her performance as the title character in the Broadway production. Nicholas Fraser had claimed that to date: “the musical stage production has been performed on every continent except Antarctica and has generated over $2 billion in revenue.”

From as early as 1978, the musical was considered as the basis for a movie, and after almost 20 years of the film’s production being delayed, the Queen of Pop, Madonna, was cast as Eva Duarte Perón in the 1996 version of the film, Evita. As a result of the film, Madonna won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.” In response to the American film, and in an alleged attempt to offer a more politically accurate depiction of Evita’s life, an Argentinian film company released the film, Eva Perón: The True Story. The Argentinian production had starred the actress, Esther Goris, in the title role. This movie was the 1996 Argentinian submission for the Oscar in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film.”

Nicholas Fraser wrote that Evita was the perfect popular culture icon for our times, because her career had foreshadowed, by the late 20th Century, what had become common. During Evita’s time, it was considered as being scandalous for a former entertainer to take part in public political life, though her detractors in Argentina had often accused her of turning public political life into a show business. However, Nicholas Fraser had claimed that the public had become engrossed in the cult of celebrity and that the public political life had become insignificant.

In this regard, Evita was perhaps ahead of her time, but Fraser had also written that Evita’s story appeals to our celebrity-obsessed age because her story confirmed one of Hollywood’s oldest clichés, the rags to riches story. By reflecting on Eva Perón’s popularity more than half a century after her death, Alma Guillermoprieto wrote that: “Evita’s life has evidently just begun.”

This Case Study on Eva Duarte Perón now comes to a remarkable close, and is the last offical standard article for 2015. Check back very soon for the final article, where I will take a full look-back on 2015, on this entire year in review.

Alex Smithson

My Journey Through a Lens: Out Independence Day!!!

After 9 months of working on Book #3, I am absolutely pleased to tell you that: “My Journey Through a Lens” will officially be out tomorrow at 6:00 PM. The news of this book release has finally come, as I have just finished up work on the book, and I am now preparing it so that it is officially ready for release tomorrow evening.

Containing over 400+ pages, this book is indeed my largest book to date. This book was originally going to be released towards the end of May, but due to the fact that I had my college studies and revision to worry about, I had to hold off the release to allow myself a lot more time to finish up the book and also finalise it, so that it would give me more time to work on it.

As I mentioned previously in the previously crafted articles surrounding this book, I have officially included 6 case studies, all of them of which focus on historical icons from the 1500s up to now, and as well as this, I have also included further interests that I am fond of, such as music and photography, as I have talked about our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow (Winner of the X Factor 2014) and also the Queen of Pop, Madonna.

In terms of the book, some of the book focuses mainly around the photographical work that I have published on Mother Nature, and not only that, but most of the book itself also focuses around my own interests, as well as Croydon College.

The front and back covers of the book, which were originally a tad fuzzy in terms of the method I used to use have since been resolved, as I have enlarged the book covers and the text into a much higher quality, which means that when you zoom in, it will be almost completely fuzz-free.

When you get to the end of the book, you can expect to see ten pages of photographs, and then the last page or few will focus on some quotes, some or most of which I have created by myself, but also some by other people, especially of those that are famous.

I am absolutely thrilled to have got to the end of this book, and I can’t wait to release it tomorrow. Once the book becomes available, I will be changing out the download icons in the Free Books section to the cover images of those books that were designed. Don’t worry, these books are always going to be free, including any other future books that I will create, and as always, every book I make will be made available for download via Dropbox.

Until then, I can’t wait to release the book, and please make sure to keep an eye on Mother Nature tomorrow, when the book gets released at 6:00 PM :-).

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: June 2015

As I round June off on a high note, I will now take a look back on this month as it unfolded, and I will go through a quick roundup of the articles I have published on Mother Nature over the course of this month.

1.6.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a relaxing and peaceful month that would lie ahead. I also did a very short look back as I mentioned in this article that it would be one year ago this month that I had left school for good, given that I had also mentioned that I took a near-enough 5-month hiatus from February 2014 to June 2014, as I had my final exams to worry about.

6.6.2015 – Mother Nature marked a very important milestone on this day, as this day saw Mother Nature officially mark it’s 2nd birthday on WordPress. In the space of two years, I have gone on to publish two books online, one of which I have a physical copy of, and with my third book being close to being ready for its final release, I have felt absolutely proud to have come this far in the space of 2 years.

29.6.2015 – After a month-long wait and a lot of research, I was finally able to publish Case Study #6, which focused on the Former President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This Case Study is the first case study to have more than 10,000+ words containing dozens of research about a Former President.

30.6.2015 – Following just weeks after Apple held their Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 8.4 was officially released to the masses. Along with this update brought the newly-announced music service, Apple Music. After 2 very long years, the United Kingdom, for the first time ever, gets access to iTunes Radio, including the new Radio Station, Beats 1 Radio (a.k.a. B1), and with this update came an entirely redesigned Music app, which was given not just a massive overhaul in design, but it also brought back with it the ability to play music videos in the Music application, but in Landscape Mode, which was a commonly used feature that was often seen quite frequently in iOS 6.

Also on this day, I published a Special Music Feature article on the Queen of Pop, Madonna’s high-octane music video: “Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)”. This music video had featured a numerous amount of cameo appearances. These cameo appearances featured the likes of Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Chris Rock, Diplo, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Alexander Wang, Rocco Ritchie & David. This video, as mentioned by some, if not a lot of people, would wipe Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video to the floor. This video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who had previously directed Madonna’s previous video, Ghosttown, taken from Madonna’s 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart.

Thanks so much to all of you, that’s including my friends, my family, my two main role models and also all of you for such a fantastic, relaxing and peaceful month, and I’ll see you all in July. Also, before I conclude this monthly roundup on a high note, I am delighted to let you know I will be publishing more articles over the course of July and August, now that I have got a huge amount of time on my hands until September. Again, thanks so much to all of you for a fantastic, relaxing and peaceful month, and I’ll see you all in July!!!

Alex Smithson

[Note: Please make sure to keep a close eye out for my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, as it will be out very soon, and I will also be announcing the release date for this third book on Mother Nature :-).]

Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) | Madonna | Special Music Feature

With her music video inching much closer to 30,000,000 views in just the space of two weeks, Madonna released her latest: “Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)” music video to the masses. With her previous video only just recently clocking up to over 10,000,000+ views, with the first video from the Rebel Heart album clocking up to over 15,000,000+ views, Bitch I’m Madonna looks more than ready to set the bar for the next video that Madonna may release off of her 13th studio album, Rebel Heart.

Featuring cameo appearances from musicians, such as Rita Ora, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West & Katy Perry, with further actors and designers, such as Chris Rock and Alexander Wang, along with Madonna’s son, Rocco Ritchie and also David, that’s including the DJ, Diplo, Madonna’s latest video is set to wipe Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video to the floor.

Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) follows on from Madonna’s previous video, Ghosttown, which I had most recently talked about shortly after it was released. In “Bitch I’m Madonna”, there is a vibrant, yet interesting feel that brings the video together, as the video surrounds a party-based theme which is interesting, but also at the same time, elegant and modern to the present day.

The video from my view has a vibrant, yet bold approach that is appealing. Despite the fact the video is explicit, it has a lot of good value to it, because Madonna is making sure that no-one forgets who she is.

It’s amazing how a video like this has managed to clock up that many views in just the space of two weeks, and I can say I actually like it, it’s not too raunchy, it’s not too in your face, but it’s a high-octane pop record that gets Madonna’s point across, not just in her own way, but also in a way where you can understand her.

Madonna has made sure to be as repulsive as possible to her haters who have criticised her because of her age by releasing this video to the masses, to tell her haters that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, she just wants to be accepted for who she is, no matter what age she is.

In this day and age, some musicians, if not a lot of musicians, are criticised, not so much on how they create their music, but also on the way they create their music. Madonna has been in the music business for over 30 years and she hasn’t taken her fans’ support for granted, yet those who criticise her take her for granted and act like they don’t give a damn about her.

One of the most inspiring thing’s Madonna has said, was when she made this quote:

This will be a revolution of inquiring further, of not worrying about winning other people’s approval, of not wishing you were someone else but perfectly content to be who you are. Someone unique, and rare, and fearless. I want to start a revolution of love.” – Madonna

Bitch I’m Madonna is a high-octane record that will get your taste buds flowing, and it is also a good record that has some sentimental value, given just how hard-working Madonna has been since she released Rebel Heart on Monday 9th March 2015.

In it’s full HD glory, here is the Official Music Video by Madonna: “Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj), which was directed by the director who did Madonna’s previous video, Ghosttown, Jonas Åkerlund.

If you enjoyed reading this Special Music Feature article, please make sure to give this article a like, and if you enjoyed the article and the music video, please feel free to leave your comments below this article.

Alex Smithson

© Madonna, Boy Toy Inc. & Live Nation 2015

© Any of the logos used, such as the Bitch I’m Madonna logo, the Rebel Heart logo, and the Madonna logo, including the image used behind the text are all courtesy of the record label, the ticket provider, the director and the artist itself. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Fact: Jonas Åkerlund is best known for some of Madonna’s notable music videos, such as: “Ray of Light, Music, American Life, Jump & Celebration”. He has also worked with Madonna on putting together the tour footage for notable tours, such as: “I’m Going to Tell You a Secret”, “The Confessions Tour – Live from London (2006)” and “The Confessions Tour (2007)”.

Welcome to May!!!!! A Relaxing & Delightful Month Awaits!!!!!

Hello everyone, and welcome to May on Mother Nature!!!!! As this month begins on a relaxing and delightful note, I wanted to take the chance to ring in the nice and lovely weather that the UK has been getting most recently. I absolutely love this weather, as it is not too hot, not too cold, but just right, even though there has been a bit of a breeze which has been quite cold, though I’ve managed quite well to just brave the cold breeze.

May is also the month of the year where the Whitsun season kicks in, with the Whitsun holiday being set to fall on Sunday 24th May 2015. As there is a month left to go until the start of Summer arrives, this will be the perfect time to make the most of these next few weeks while the temperature is just right, as we will all need to prepare ourselves for any of the scorching hot weather which is set to arrive around the end of June, into July.

In about 5 to 6 weeks from now, Mother Nature will be celebrating its 2nd Year on WordPress, as this website was started up on the 6th June 2013, and for Mother Nature to come this far in that time, I feel so proud to have come this far and I also feel proud to have achieved a huge amount in that time. It gives me the absolute pleasure to say a massive thank you to every single one of you, because without you all, my friends, my family, and even my teachers, I wouldn’t have got this far. Again, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, I love you all so much, and I want to make sure that the journey continues forever.

There is exciting news in store for this month, as I will be finishing up work on my third book, which is being penned for a release sometime around the end of this month, so I will be working my socks off as much as I can to make sure that this book is completed and ready for release. Don’t worry, this book will be free to download, and will become available for download on the day of its release in the Free Books Widget.

This book is set to not just be the biggest book I will have ever produced, but it will also be the longest ever book I’ve written over the course of around 7 months. Packed with over 300+ pages, this book will focus around some of the photographical articles I have created and published on Mother Nature, as well as some of the articles that focus entirely on many other different subjects that I have covered.

6 Case Studies will also be included in this book, which will focus around some notable historical icons of our past time, and as well as this, there will be some pages that focus on the musical songstress, Madonna, following the recent release of her 13th Studio Album, Rebel Heart, with our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, the X Factor Winner of 2014 (WE LOVE YOU BEN!!!!!), being featured in this book.

I have so much in this book to offer to all of you, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed, because I have been making sure to fine-tune this book and correct any possible mistakes that have been made along the way, and I have also been very cautious as to how I have created this book, because I want to make sure that it’s perfect for all of you to read, and that this book doesn’t suffer from any form of confusion.

Aside from that, there is a lot I have to offer in store for this month, so stay tuned for the latest updates on the articles that I publish.

Until then, Welcome to May!!!!! A Relaxing & Delightful Month Awaits!!!!!

Alex Smithson