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María Izquierdo

A work made of oil on canvas.
© Tamayo Heirs / Mexico / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1932

Artist:

Rufino Tamayo
Mexican, 1899–1991

About this artwork

Rufino Tamayo’s portrait of the celebrated painter María Izquierdo presents her with eyes closed, as a plume of cigarette smoke wafts upward. A transparent fish outlined in red appears behind her, almost as if emanating from her mind, projecting a sense of the unreal or the fantastic. Tamayo’s portrayal likely references the imaginative quality of Izquierdo’s own work. In 1932 she began creating allegorical compositions that moved beyond the direct representation of nature into a more poetic realm. By depicting her in a dreamlike manner in his portrait, Tamayo acknowledged the significance of invention in her artistic practice.

The limited and contrasting palette that Tamayo employed emphasizes Izquierdo’s mestiza identity (of both Indigenous and European descent)—and possibly, by extension, Tamayo’s own Zapotec heritage.

Status

On View, Gallery 262

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Rufino Tamayo

Title

María Izquierdo

Origin

México

Date

1932

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed lower right: Tamayo / 32

Dimensions

75.3 × 64.5 cm (29 5/8 × 25 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Frances A. Elkins

Reference Number

1946.340

Copyright

© Tamayo Heirs / Mexico / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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