Still Life (Mallorca)

Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886 - 1957)

1915. Oil on canvas, 38 x 24 7/8". 1931.090

A native of Mexico, Diego Rivera was influenced by European artists, and in turn he influenced many American artists. Rivera based this work on a form of Cubism developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The subject is a pitcher seen from four different view- points. Depth is suggested by the way the table is drawn and by the deep blue background. Rivera’s pursuit of ideal beauty led him to incorporate the Golden Section from classical Greek art—a ratio of three to five—into many of his compositions. If this painting is divided horizontally into eight equal sections, we find the base of the pitcher meets the tabletop precisely on a line between a unit of three on the bottom and a unit of five above.

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