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Diego Rivera(1886-1957)
PAISAJE CERCA DE TOLEDO
JUMP TO LOT
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Diego Rivera(1886-1957)
PAISAJE CERCA DE TOLEDO
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Latin America: Modern Art | Latin America: Contemporary Art

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New York

Diego Rivera(1886-1957)
PAISAJE CERCA DE TOLEDO
signed lower right; also signed on the reverse 
oil on canvas
34 1/2 by 43 in.
88 by 109 cm
Painted in 1913. 
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We wish to thank Professor Luis-Martín Lozano for his kind assistance in confirming the authenticity of this lot.

This painting is part of the National Heritage of Mexico and cannot be permanently exported from the country. Accordingly, it is offered for sale in New York from the catalogue and will not be available in New York for inspection or delivery. The work will be released to the purchaser in Mexico in compliance with all local requirements. Prospective buyers may contact Sotheby's representatives in Mexico City and Monterrey for an appointment to view the work.

Provenance

Collection of D. Enrique Freyman (Cultural Attaché of the Mexican Government in Paris)
Private Collection, Switzerland
Sale: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, Diego Rivera: Twenty-Seven Paintings of the Period 1909-1917, October 28, 1959, lot 17, illustrated
Private Collection, Mexico 
Thence by descent to the present owner 

Literature

Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Diego Rivera: Catálogo General de Obra de Caballate, Mexico City, 1989, no. 102, p. 21, illustrated 
Luis-Martín Lozano, Juan Coronel Rivera, et al., Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution, Mexico City, 1999, p. 71, illustrated in color 
Manuel Reyero, Diego Rivera, Mexico, 2000, no. 22, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

Not only was Diego Rivera (1886-1957) the most recognized painter of the Mexican muralist movement of the first half of the twentieth-century, he was also a leading exponent of the European avant-garde between the years of 1911 and 1921 and an outstanding Cubist painter from 1913.

It was on scholarship at the workshop of Eduardo Chicharro in Spain when the young Diego Rivera first visited Paris in 1909 and subsequently discovered the relevance of post-impressionist pictorial languages. In Paris, he marveled at everything he saw, the work of Claude Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin and particularly Paul Cézanne produced a deep and long lasting impression. Rivera returned to Mexico briefly in 1910 only to depart once again for France to set up his studio in Montparnasse where he relocated in 1911 with his young wife Russian painter Angeline Beloff. As an artist, Rivera’s first approach to painting produced pointillist landscapes visibly influenced by Georges Seurat and presented at the Salon des Independants in 1912. After a long sojourn in Catalonia however, Rivera and Beloff left their studio located on Avenue du Maine and moved to the Spanish city of Toledo, accompanied by Mexican artist Angel Zárraga.

Guided by Zárraga, Rivera delved into the study of the work of sixteenth-century Mannerist painter, Doménikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco). Almost immediately, the young painter assimilated innovative pictorial solutions and elongated figures in several large canvases. Rivera’s individual approach to the painting of El Greco became evident in the two works he submitted at the Salon d'Automne in Paris that year. Soon thereafter, he returned to Paris in September 1912, just in time to finish some of his most ambitious works: canvases that displayed a groundbreaking interlude between El Greco and the European avant-garde. Once in a new studio in the rue du Départ, he began working on compositions that would eventually lead him to the threshold of Cubism.

This remarkable landscape from 1913—one of the few remaining in private collections—corresponds to a moment of intense experimentation when both traditional compositional elements and avant-garde notions of space are synthesized. Rivera’s mastery of perspective coexists with the appearance of numerous diagonal axes. Together they create a dynamic cross-linked geometric plane of great intensity and volume. This spatial dichotomy is particularly evident on the roof of the farmhouses located on the outskirts of the city of Toledo. The result is a Proto-Cubist painting where a gradual decomposition of space is particularly visible in the Mondrianesque trees that appear on the foreground.

Several decades later in the 1950s, Diego Rivera remembered his stylistic progression for his biographers.  In the year 1913, "I wanted to get to Cubism on the basis of what it really was, the resulting logic of Seurat, Cézanne and El Greco.”  These theoretical constructs are perfectly embodied in Paisaje cerca de Toledo.

Professor Luis-Martín Lozano
September, 2016

Latin America: Modern Art | Latin America: Contemporary Art

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New York