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Diego Rivera: The Rivals (1931)

Amazing riot of colour.

At Sunnyside - Where Truth and Beauty Meet

DIEGO RIVERA (1886-1957) The Rivals signed and dated ‘Diego Rivera 1931’ (lower right) oil on canvas 60 x 50 in. (152.4 x 127 cm.) Painted in 1931, Image Source: Christie’s

“The scene, inspired by “la fiesta de Las Velas”, depicts an annual tradition indigenous to the Isthmus region of Oaxaca for which women wear embroidered huipiles or blouses, attractive gold jewelry and their hair pulled into moños (buns) and, enaguas or skirts in bright colors. The feast has indigenous roots, and is celebrated during the month of May in honor of family patron saints, amidst exotic palm trees, and papel picado or delicately cut multicolor sheets of tissue paper strung from the roofs to enliven the festivities.

Yet the theme, so profoundly Mexican, is not necessarily the painting’s most captivating feature, but rather the modern use of multiple planes coupled with the artist’s chromatic sensibility which Rivera makes full use…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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