Nude with Calla Lilies 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 continued his use of the themes of nature and peasant life in this small painting from 1944 that was titled Nude with Calla Lilies, or Desnudo con Alcatraces in his native language.

Diego Rivera was politically left wing and would always side with the poorer elements of society. He also found beauty in their lives that others perhaps could not. He shared this ability with Frida Kahlo, another very famous Mexican painter. Both of their depictions of peasant life were normally on small canvases, though Rivera is best known for his huge mural scenes found elsewhere in this website.

A related American artist, Georgia O'Keeffe made use of flowers even more frequently within her career and the lilies found here featured on several occasions. She used a similar approach of bright colour and symbolic content despite coming from quite a different background. There was likely some artistic influence between these two artists plus Frida Kahlo.

The painting was completed on a piece of hardboard measuring 61.8 x 48.8 in / 157 x 124 cm. For further examples of famous artists making use of various species of flower in their work, you may also appreciate the likes of Black Iris and Jimson Weed by Georgia O'Keeffe, Water Lilies by Claude Monet and Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh. The earlier periods of the Renaissance and Baroque movements did not cover flowers or nature other than as supporting features and it was only later that still life painting became so frequent. The rise of landscape artists also helped to bring nature more into play across the art world.