Portrait of Lupe Marin 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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Lupe Marin was once married to Diego Rivera, with them producing two children. She would appear several times within his career and was also painted by Frida Kahlo too, though later chose to destroy that painting after an argument with its creator.

Rivera was someone who struggled with infidelity and never truly overcame this strong tendency to stray. It would ultimately cost him several marriages, including this one. Marin and Rivera were married from 1922 to 1927 before she became aware of his relationship with photographer Tina Modotti, at which point her patience with him finally wore out. She then became friends with Frida Kahlo after her own marriage to Rivera had finished and they would regularly go shopping together and also share information about Diego himself. The painting portrait in front of us here came a decade after Diego and Lupe had separated, underlining how their relationship was still entirely amicable in the main. He is complmentary to her within this work, showing no signs of any resentment about their previous problems at all. For all his mistakes, Rivera was a charming man who could at least mend bridges over time, though without ever being able to entirely rebuild the trust of some of these wronged ex-wives.

Lupe Marin looks pretty and confident within this work, appearing like a woman who has brushed off her past and moved forwards without any baggage upon her. She wears a stunning white dress which covers most of her body and this is added to by a number of accessories, such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Her hair is tidy and she is also wearing a metal belt over her dress. She sits on a wooden chair with a plain wall behind her which continues to her left. The overall theme of the work is bright, with white very much being the dominant tone of the piece, though without many of the warm colours that he would use elsewhere. This overall piece speaks of a repaired relationship in which both parties have moved on and are content with their friendship as it is today. Whilst being seen as a womaniser, many of the ladies connected to Rivera were actually fairly strong in their own characters, and we get entirely that impression here too.

Marin is believed to have been a Communist who shared many political beliefs with Rivera and this lies behind how they originally met. A politically minded friend introduced them soon after Rivera had joined the Mexican Communist Part. Guadalupe Marin was nicknamed Lupe and she immediately caught the eye of Diego. She was known to be highly explosive in emotions and that would always have appealed to a creative artist such as this. She displayed extreme anger from time to time and actually destroyed several of his artworks, many years before doing the same with her friend, Frida Kahlo. It has been reported that jealousy was a problem for her and that the flirtatious behaviour of her husband would lead to regular fights and eventually their separation, although his own behaviour would always increase these bust-ups.