Indian Girl with Coral Necklace 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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Diego Rivera's Girl with Coral Necklace dates from 1926 and can today be found in the collection of the SFMOMA in San Francisco, USA. The style of this portrait will remind many of the work of his wife, Frida Kahlo, who herself specialised in portraiture and self-portraiture.

Here we find a sweet girl standing for this simple portrait. She holds a coral necklace in her hands, perhaps fiddling with it out of a nervous disposition. Her cheeks a plump and reddened, with an earring in her left ear. Her hair is neatly tied back and she wears traditional Mexican clothing with a bright red band around her waist. Her feet appear from below her pretty dress and she stands on a tiled floor which is in a terracotta colour. Across the wall behind her are stripes of blue and white which brings additional colour to the overall piece. In the bottom section of the artwork is a painted scrawl which carried text related to the painting, and this was a technique used by Frida Kahlo in her own portraits. Both artists were always interested in local Mexicans, featuring them within a number of paintings whilst working and celebrating the beauty of life. Both tried to be upbeat and positive within their depictions, however poor some of the subjects may have been. Despite their success abroad, both would always remain loyal to their people.

Girl with Coral Necklace is sized at 94cm tall by 69cm wide, approximately, and is given a very precise date of 1926 rather than a circa period, which was the case with some of his other less famous paintings. Rivera spent some years in the US and built up a strong connection to the country, leading to collectors becoming enthusiastic about his work. Many of the major galleries there now carry examples from his career, though thankfully many others also still reside within the artist's native Mexico. There secret of his success on an international scale was in how he fused tastes within Mexico, Europe and the US together into a form that all three found entirely palatable. In some ways it was exotic to westerners, but in a way they could accept and soon enough Rivera would receive commissions in France and the USA as knowledge of his work started to spread.

The artist loved to produce portraits of local women and girls, far beyond just the example found here. See the likes of Nude with Calla Lilies and The Flower Carrier to find the bright colour tones that most of these scenes possessed. He took arduous tasks and delivered them with a romantic atmosphere which promoted the beauty of his beloved Mexico. There are many more besides this to enjoy across his extensive oeuvre, though he would also take in many other genres as he travelled to other countries, constantly striving for new ideas. He respected European art and would try out some of the latest contemporary techniques being used there in the early 20th century, which would leave a strong influence on some of his work.