The Power and Presence of Diego Rivera’s Portrait of Columba Domínguez

New York | 12 May

When Diego Rivera repatriated to Mexico in 1921, he joined a cultural mission to discover the country’s southeast. There he became fascinated with the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the culture of the “Tehuanas,” an indigenous matriarchal society that would become an iconographic constant in his work. By 1950, Rivera had painted several portraits of Mexico’s leading actresses; in this almost life-sized portrait of Columba Domínguez, Rivera elevates the figure of the Mexican women, proud and strong, depicting Domínguez as a Tehuana. Executed in beautiful detail, the portrait carefully renders the traditional dress, hairstyle and presence of this magnificent community, a splendid vision of rural Mexico. Retrato de Columba Domínguez de Fernández, 1950, highlights Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale (12 May New York).

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