Symbolic Landscape

Symbolic Landscape
By Diego Rivera

The grand work of art looms before me and I am taken aback by its unusual form, yet struck by its very expressive nature.”Symbolic Landscape” by Diego Rivera definitely makes its powerful presence in the room just as the artist forever made a mark in time as a man who pushed the political and social limits of his time through his art work and murals.Although the painting described in this paper is powerful and makes a bold statement, as many of his works do, it stands quite separated from the others in the ideas that it represents.We can get a good background of this piece by looking to the circumstances in his life that were concerning him at the time of its conception.After an eleven-year marriage to Frida Kahlo, a renowned painter and Mexican icon, they divorce and Rivera is quite saddened.Many call her the love of his life and “Symbolic Landscape” presents a very poetic view of the circumstance through symbols of the natural landscape.
The piece itself measures 47 7/8″ by 60 1/8″ and is wider than it is tall, just as all landscapes are.Emerging from the lower right corner is a fallen tree that almost comes alive as it bends and twists its way into the center of the painting.It takes on the sensuous shape of a woman’s torso with her back arched in intense emotion.The bark of the tree is extremely smooth and flows untouched until the very bottom where the rough underside is visible.Surrounding the tree and encompassing her on all sides is rough and jagged stone.The stone takes on many shapes including a man’s face and tightly gripped fists, with one on either side of the trapped tree.The furrowed brow and clenched teeth of the stone face possess two very symbolic objects.A bloody knife with a wedding band slipped over its hideous blade, and a leather glove seems reminiscent of a dirty deed and altogether out of place in the otherwise all natural landscape.Far o…

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