Juan Manuel Blanes (1830-1901)

Source: Dawn Ades, Art in Latin America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, p. 28.
Image: "Paraguay: Image of Your Desolate Country," Juan Manuel Blanes, c. 1880. Oil on canvas in the Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Comments: What is depicted in this canvas is the death and devastation in Paraguay that occured during the War of the Triple Alliance (or the Paraguayan War, 1864-1870). It was perhaps the bloodiest war in the history of South America. The warring countries were Paraguay vs. Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. A half million people were killed during the war.
Humanities questions: Identify the painting's style. What elements does the painter use to characterize the idea of this specific Paraguayan historical reality. What does the central figure communicate?