Diego Rivera, Calla Lily Vendors, 1943, oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm, private collection, Mexico. 🇲🇽 Diego Rivera, 1886-1957, was a Mexican painter whose bold large-scale socio political murals stimulated a revival of fresco painting in Latin America. These huge frescoes, depicting Mexican agriculture, industry, and culture, reflect a genuinely native subject matter and personal style. Rivera defines his solid, somewhat stylized human figures by precise outlines rather than by internal modeling. The flattened, simplified figures are set in crowded, shallow spaces and are enlivened with bright, bold colours. The Indians, peasants, conquistadores, and factory workers depicted combine monumentality of form with a mood that is lyrical and at times elegiac. This work was painted in 1943 and is one of Diego Rivera's most famous paintings. The work depicts two peasant girls and a man wearing a sombrero holding a bundle of white flowers in a basket. The girls with their long dark braids kneel barefoot. The left girl is tying a blue ribbon around the basket. The calla lily, a sensual, sculptural flower, and quintessential example of Mexico's exuberant flora, was celebrated by Rivera many times, particularly in frescoes depicting peasants with indigenous features carrying bundles or offerings of them. The pale heads of the flowers and their thick, cut stems fill the picture, dwarfing the girls and the man. Given Diego Rivera's passionate political beliefs, the artist might be making a political statement here about the importance of the ordinary working class.
Picture taken at the exhibition "Mexico, 1900 – 1950 Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco", Grand Palais, Paris.
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