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Tag: Diego Rivera

Portrait of a girl

The Artdog Image of Interest 

Frida KahloPortrait of Lucha Maria, a Girl from Tehuacán1942


This isn’t the most famous Frida Kahlo painting, but I keep coming back to it. Here she brought together several themes that recur in her paintings.

Herself descended in part from indigenous roots, she frequently included references to indigenous Mexican cultures in her work. Tehuacán is the second-largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, in southeastern Mexico known (among other things) for its vivid embroidery and weaving. The beautiful, exotic Mexican clothing with which Frida created her “signature look” came from there. She also references indigenous culture by portraying the Pyramids of the Moon and the Sun at Teotihuacan left-to-right respectively, under the moon and sun in the painting.

The “split sky” that is half night and half day can also be seen in later paintings, such as Tree of Hope, Keep Firm1946, and The love embrace of the universe the earth mexico myself diego and senor xolotl, 1949). Many interpretations for this have been offered.

She also often added touches of contemporary life in her work. the toy airplane in young Lucha Maria’s hands is thought to be a reference to World War II, which was raging at the time; my best guess is that it might be a model of a CANT Z.1007 Alcione in desert camouflage.

Frida herself was overshadowed in the art world for years, known mostly as Diego Rivera‘s wife. She lived a short but passionate life, plagued by illness, and died of cancer in 1954.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Frida Kahlo.org, and the page devoted to this painting, for both the image and some of the information about it.

Diego Rivera says it with flowers

The Artdog Image of Interest

The Flower Carrier, by Diego Rivera

Throughout time, artists have often turned to workers in various industries for inspiration. I’ve been spotlighting a few examples this month, in honor of Labor DayHokusai’s rice farmers and the bakers and brewers immortalized by the ancient Egyptian modeler for the Tomb of Meketre all worked with grain, to produce an indispensable staple for their societies.

But not every trade focuses on society’s most basic needs. Today’s artist, Diego Rivera, was a prominent painter and muralist in the first half of the 20th Century. He was trained in Mexico and Europeworked in Paris, was a great friend of Amodeo Modigliani and other members of the artists’ group at Montparnasse, and explored cubism at roughly the same time as PicassoBraque, and Gris. His mature style also drew upon the imagery of the Mayan stelae of his native Mexico.

Rivera also was a dedicated atheist, socialist and supporter of communism. Many of his murals and paintings celebrate the common working person. The Flower Carrier, painted in oil and tempera on Masonite in 1935 (original title: Cargador de Flores) is one of several works Rivera created, focused on workers in the Mexican cut flower trade. It was a recurrent theme, often featuring calla lilies and female workers. This painting is currently in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Other Rivera paintings that feature flowers and the workers who collected, carried, and sold them include Flower Day (1925), The Flower Seller (1941), The Flower Vendor (1949), and another Flower Carrier (1953).

Khan Academy has collected many of these flower paintings in a short video. I discovered it after I’d written most of this article, but the writer of the Khan Academy piece and I are definitely on the same page about the message of these paintings. Rivera has used the beauty of the flowers to call attention to the arduous lives of the workers.

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Diego Rivera website, for this image.

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