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Diego Rivera
(1886 - 1957)

Portrait of Ilya Ehrenburg

Oil on canvas
43 3/8 x 35 1/4 in. (110.2 x 89.5 cm)
Century: 20th Century
Credit Line: Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Algur H. Meadows Collection, MM.68.12
Accession Number: MM.68.12

More Information

Visual Description

This painting is approximately three and-a-half feet high by three feet wide. Filling the composition is an abstract portrait of a man seated with his legs crossed. The man and other features of the work are comprised of simple geometric shapes. The man has wavy shoulder length hair. His face is made up of a light grey, trapezoid shape. The features are very simple, his nose is comprised of two intersecting curved lines and his eyes appear to be winking. He has a simple V-shaped mouth, from which a brown pipe extends down and to the right. He wears a tall hat that resembles a top hat with a short brim. In his right hand he holds a fountain pen, and his left hand supports a writing surface which sits in his lap. The artist has included different textures including sawdust and gravel to further differentiate the geometric forms in the work. He has also built up the paint texture in the sitter’s hair, pipe and pen so that they stand in relief from the surface of the canvas. The forms of the work are painted in both colorful and muted tones including black, white, gray, green, rust, blue and yellows.

Please click on the audio clip above to hear a reading of an English translation of Ilya Ehrenburg's poem, The Sons of Our Sons. Written in 1919, the poem is based on the author's experience in Russia during the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution and in France after the First World War.

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