In murals, canvas paintings, and watercolors throughout his career, Diego Rivera represented the everyday lives of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Among his most iconic subjects were calla lily vendors, the earliest of which he painted in 1925.
In this version a jubilant bundle of calla lilies dominates the canvas, largely obscuring a figure behind them. In the foreground two women wear traditional fringed shawls, or rebozo, which were not only decorative but utilitarian: a length of the fabric could be used to tie the basket to a vendor’s back. Such details add cultural depth to a beautiful image, offering insight into everyday life in rural Mexican communities.
The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th-Century Mexican Art, The Vergel Foundation, Conaculta/INBA, © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York