Staying in Spain, Diego observes the timeless character of El Greco's art. Hostile to Christian mysticism, he tries a modern application of the solutions found by El Greco. The great hagiographer painter of the late sixteenth century had never revealed if he had religious beliefs. This certainly suits Diego, an ardent socialist activist and the descendant of a Jewish family forcibly converted to Catholicism.
Diego painted in 1912 a view of Toledo in a direct imitation of El Greco. In the same year he found in the 23 years old Spanish binder Hermenegildo Alsina the elegant and long-limbed young man of very tall stature who could be a modern incarnation of the mystical characters by El Greco. His umbrella supersedes the holy cross.
On November 21 in New York, Sotheby's sells Retrato de un español, oil on canvas 199 x 165 cm painted by Diego Rivera in 1912, lot 7 estimated $ 3M. The man is standing in life size in front of a tormented sky in the style of El Greco and of the low horizon of an arid Spanish landscape.
After this very short period inspired by El Greco, Diego participates from the following year in the modernist Cubist researches.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.