Lot 2
  • 2

Diego Rivera (1886-1957)

125,000 - 175,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Diego Rivera
  • Boceto para el retrato de un español (A double-sided painting) 
  • signed lower right
  • oil on wood


Collection of Hermenegildo Alsina y Munné, Barcelona
Private Collection, Barcelona

Catalogue Note

Mexican painter Diego Rivera (1886-1957) returned to Europe in 1911 determined to become an avant-garde painter. Once in Paris, he found a studio in the neighborhood of Montparnasse and after a brief trip to Normandy, he departed for Spain. Accompanied by his then Russian wife Angeline Beloff and his friend, the Catalan Hermenegil Alsina i Munné (1890-1980), whom he had met in Madrid in the gatherings of the new Café de Levante around 1909, Rivera began to paint pointillist landscapes in the village of Monistrol under the influence of Georges Seurat. 

The young Alsina would serve as Rivera's impromptu model for the now famous picture, Portrait of a Spaniard of 1912 with which he participated in the Salon d'Automne of Paris the following year. In this preparatory oil for the large-format picture, Rivera distorts the figure's anatomical proportions revealing the great influence of sixteenth-century master, Doménikos Theotokópoulos, El Greco, on his work. Executed in a Mannerist style, the elongated and elegant figure of Alsina contrasts with the composition's tempestuous sky. These formal experiments with the painting of El Greco, so vital in his development, would eventually lead Rivera to Cubism in the winter of 1912.

Professor Luis-Martín Lozano
September, 2016