Woman with Flowers Diego Rivera Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Woman with Flowers is a painting from 1938 by Diego Rivera and provides a further example of his work within the genre of Social Realism. It is believed that this piece was actually completed using pastels on paper, making it more of a drawing.

This portrait features an unusual style of cropping, in which only the upper half of the figure is shown, with a small hand appearing at the bottom. The bunch of flowers are also allowed to dominate a large part of the layout, too, which is increased by the bright tones used for the flower heads as compared to the rest of the painting. The artist is using pastels here and so focuses more on colour and expression than precise detail. See how the flower heads themselves are created from outlines, but without much definition. The female figure has a serious expression, perhas working as this piece is produced. Her clothes appear relatively modest and simple, making it likely that her occupation was to collect and carry flowers, just as was covered many times within Rivera's oeuvre. In the background there are some dark features, though nothing that can distract from the main content in front.

According to experts on the artist, Rivera found pastel work difficult because of issues with his own eyesight. As such, he did not use this medium too often, but was still able to create impressive artworks just as found here. It is probably that light comes from a candle in the bottom left, just outside the boundaries of this portrait, meaning that this piece would have been created at night just as with Rivera's Day of the Dead. He would never lose touch with the strong and passionate Mexican culture, be it the colours or the content, even as he moved around the world in search of new inspirations. Few artists have also addressed the lives of the working poor as much as Rivera, which reflects his Socialist tendencies.

This painting can be found in the collection of the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City, Mexico. They are perhaps most famous for the Frida Kahlo paintings that are also to be found here, including The Broken Column, Henry Ford Hospital and Without Hope, to name just three. It is therefore entirely suitable that her husband, Diego, is also featured here. Woman with Flowers is listed by the gallery as being 61cm in height and 46cm in width, approximately. Coming, as it did in 1938, we can essentially see the artist at his peak, having been through many stages of artistic development in different countries and cultures. He eventually has returned to his native people, focusing on the lives of ordinary Mexicans once more, even having achieved success abroad and tried all manner of different types of content and all manner of artistic styles along the way. In comparison, Kahlo kept a fairly consistent approach with Surrealism being the main movement in which she was involved.