Diego Rivera (32)
Source: WTL research files.
Painting: "Portrait of Lupe Marín" (oil on canvas, 1938, in the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City).
Biography: In 1935, Rivera continued working on his murals at the Palacio Nacional, and he and Frida Kahlo separated. Also, Rivera explained publicly why he had broken from the Mexican Communist Party, much to the displeasure of fellow muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 1936, Rivera painted murals in the brand new Hotel Reforma in Mexico City, and he joined the Trotskyesque International Communist League. In 1937, he paints no murals, but rather focuses on portraits, oils, watercolors, and popular culture genre scenes. Trotsky and his wife arrive in Mexico and live in the Rivera's home in Coyoacán. In 1938, André Breton and his wife (the premier Surrealists from France) arrive in Mexico and live with the Riveras and Trotskys. And, eleven years after they separated, Rivera paints a portrait of his first wife, which you see above.
Comments: This is a modern painting with some Cubist features, but it also displays classical (i.e., baroque) elements reminiscent of El Greco's and Velázquez's compositional techniques; e.g., the elongated figure, the diagonal positioning, and the mirror.
Humanities Questions: What does her face, her large hands, her white dress, her necklaces, and her sumptuous brown skin suggest to you? In what way is she "typically" Mexican? (For an earlier use of Guadalupe Marín as a model, see: <= Diego Rivera #11 and <= #12.) Compare and contrast these three images.