The Adoration of the Virgin Diego Rivera Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Adoration of the Virgin is an interesting artwork by Diego Rivera which combines a contemporary artistic style with content more commonly found in traditional art. The Mexican painter completed this piece in 1912-13.

We find two working women looking on in amazement at the virgin child who floats behind them in mid-air. It is refreshing to see such a modern interpretation of this scene, as we are all used to works from the Renaissance and Baroque era instead. Rivera was a religious man and was well acquainted with topics such as this, though he tended to prefer other subjects for his work. The colour scheme is particularly memorable here, with bright fractures of colour placed all around the painting, including a delightful shade of blue for the lady's dress who stands close to us. Behind the three figures we can make out a landscape which sprawls in the distance, helping to create a charming environment in which the adoration takes place. There are also some buildings which are stretched into strange angles which marks this contemporary approach in which expression takes over from pure reality.

To the left hand side we can see a river floating by, leading up to a multi-arched bridge which perhaps is there to provide a further feeling of good health and vitality. There is also a flat blue for the sky which allows and encourages a bright palette throughout the rest of the painting. In all, we find many different artistic genres combined here, which was one of the masterly skills possessed by Diego Rivera - religion meets portrait and landscape art, all within a perfectly moulded work. An interesting note is how the two female figures have their backs to us, encouraging the viewer to look directly at the main focal point, the virgin child.

The painting is sized at 150cm in height and 120cm in width. It is listed in some quarters as being owned by the Prado Museum in Madrid but actually is more likely to have just been displayed here temporarily as part of an exhibition and is really owned by an unkown private collector who agreed to loan it out for a short period of time. Indeed, they do not cover Rivera within their own website, suggesting that they do not hold any works from his career in their collection, with the gallery tending to prefer more traditional artists such as El Greco, Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya. Their most recent artist would probably be Joaquin Sorolla who was an Impressionist from the 19th century and who took the style of French artists over the border into his native Valencia.