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Albert Einstein
On passing through Havana, Albert Einstein spent only a few hours here in December 1930 being en route to Californias Technological Institute in order to make some practices at the Mount Wilson Observatory, then the most sophisticated in the world.

His short stay in Havana, where its said - he even walked into the citys most humble neighbourhoods - today inspired todays Cuban artists to bring the image of the famous scientist to the exhibit under the name «Cita con Einstein en el umbral de lo desconocido».

About 20 paintings by Juan Moreira, Carlos Guzmán, Pedro de Oraá, Ever Fonseca, Alicia de la Campa, Choco, Ernesto García Peña and others recall Einsteins stay in Havana thus adding new visions to the already-abundant iconography of the genius.

"Artists approached the man of science and the human being from a symbolic to a realistic angle" explained Antonio Alejo professor of art history and curator of this exhibit opened at Casa Humboldt in Old Havana.

According to the academician, the idea is to portray Einsteins world of meanings focusing on his face, which, he says, "is full of suggestions and symbols and a rich source for painting".

A popular icon

Einstein was only 26 years old when he published his research works on the speed of light, atom and the Relativity theory, which so much changed Physics and the world as a whole. At that time he still used to take care of himself. Although curious enough it has to be said that most popular image of this scientist is the one that shows a white-haired-old man with dishevelled appearance.

Best pictures of Einstein were taken in the '40s by Odn J. Turner and Phillippe Halsman that have been endlessly reprinted in different forms, what contributed to keep in mind a vision of an aged Einstein rather than the young man who was able to revolutionize Sciences in 1905.

"To our modern times, which is substantially a relative one, perhaps one of the purest momentums of the iconography on Albert Einstein from that time is the famous photo that shows him with his tongue out " as the prestigious Puerto Rican essayist Rubén Ríos Ávila wrote in his book entitled Sticking the tongue out.

So popular the legends face became that Time Magazine chose him the 20th centurys character.

Why did his appearance gain so much popularity almost never enjoyed by men of science? NO doubt due to "his dreamers brilliant mind, limitless thought and exceptional intelligence". But perhaps the best explanation for this has some basis on the charming attraction of his wisdom and humanism, irreverence and irony and first and foremost because he embodied concerns about the conflicts of his days.

To professor Alejo the explanation is that "a man with such an intense inner world could not have an unsubstantial face" and that has given rise to a never-ending source of plastic art production.

"Neither should be forgotten he was a defendant for peace and that does mean something in our times. Thats why new visions of Einstein encourage to think of a better world".

Source: By Daynet Rodríguez Sotomayor, CubaSi

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