Dos Mujeres: Diego Rivera’s Cubist Masterpiece

 

Diego Rivera’s great cubist painting, Two Women (1914) is currently on view at the Museum. This large painting, (77 ¾ in. x 63 ½ in.) is a double-portrait of Rivera’s first wife, Russian-born Angelina Belloff, and Russian-Cuban painter Alma Dolores Bastian. The painting is on loan from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation and was gifted to the center by Abby Rockefeller Mauzé, Nelson Rockefeller’s sister.

During the decade Diego Rivera (Mexican 1886-1957) spent in France (1911-1921), he successfully experimented with three styles of painting: Post-Impressionism, the style of Cezanne, and Cubism. He was most intrigued by Cubism─the fracturing of traditional forms, multiple points of perspective, and flattening of the picture plane, which is credited to Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1883-1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963). Rivera painted over 200 cubist landscapes and cityscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Rivera returned to Mexico in 1921 and, through his powerful murals, became a major visual spokesman for the new order in Mexico, depicting everyday workers and Mexico’s history.

The painting has been installed to complement the Museum’s major exhibition Nelson Rockefeller’s Picassos: Tapestries Commissioned for Kykuit. Rockefeller’s Picassos─on view December 20, 2014 to March 8, 2015.