Mixed Media on Rice Paper
15.5" x 11"
Signed in pencil Diego Rivera, lower left
This wash drawing is one of a group of studies of the Cuban-American dancer Maudelle Bass, for whom Rivera developed an abiding passion. In addition to a number of paintings and works on paper of the dancer in repose, he also made a series of drawings of the dancer in motion (L. Cortés Gutiérrez (ed.), Diego Rivera: catálogo general de obra de caballete, Mexico City, 1989, nos. 1487-1496). Patrick Marnham memorably noted that 'the studies [of Bass] may have been the world's first attempt at erotic surrealistic painting, and were perhaps André Breton's sole contribution to Mexican culture (P. Marnham, His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera, Los Angeles, 1998, pp. 289-90). This, along with the series of drawings of Bass, culminated in the 1942 painting, La Danza del Sol.