Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gladys

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:15 am

A WITCHCRAFT CURE

A Number of Blank Days Passed. I was very ill. Most of the time I was in a coma. In brief intervals of wakefulness, I would see Antonia beside my bed, silent and immobile. My mother was away most of the day, hunting for a bigger house for all of us to live in. One day, when she came home with medicine prescribed by a doctor friend, Antonia vehemently restrained her from giving it to me.

I was still in bed and still feverish when my periods of consciousness began to lengthen. Since I awakened delirious many times in the night, Antonia remained at my bedside night and day.

She saw to it that the soft light of the clay lamp was constantly replenished with the animal grease which fed it and that the door to the corridor was closed to keep out any stronger light. For most of my illness, Antonia went without sleep. Around her erect form hung an almost visible aura of authority. When my father and mother visited me, she allowed them to come no further than the half-open door, where I could barely hear them whisper. She only fed me meals she had bought and prepared herself.

Convalescence brought with it a feeling of renewal and rebirth. Now Antonia permitted herself an occasional nap.

One morning, she came in to dress me, as she had begun to do each day. She combed my hair as she had when I was a child in the mountains. Then she took me in her arms and kissed me. I was suddenly afraid.

"What do you mean by this?" I asked fearfully. "Do you intend to leave me?"

Antonia laughed. Despite her age and her primitive life, her teeth were still strong and gleaming.

"No, my child. How could I leave you? I could never leave you, and don't you forget that, I mean never! No matter how far you may go, no matter how quickly you may travel on the path you are to follow after this day, no matter how many roads you must take, no matter what difficulties you encounter in building your tower , I'll be with you always. If need be, I'll cross seven rivers and seven seas and seven countries and each of them thirteen and twenty times to come back to you. As long as the sun shines, I will be with you always, my child, always."

With that, she laughed gaily and then began an incantation which was part of a magic rite symbolizing the transference of the spirit of life from one thing (an egg, in this instance) to another (me).

She took the egg from the space between her breasts and handed it to me. It was as warm as if it had been newly laid. Then she unwrapped a bone needle from a cotton cloth and pierced the egg at each end.

Kissing the egg, she said, "Now, my child, you kiss it and drink its inside as quickly as you can."

I did as Antonia bade me. The egg was emptied in a gulp.

Antonia took the hollow shell from my hands. All at once she began to chant loudly, joyously, in her native Tarascan. Singing, she led me into the kitchen, where she prepared a small wood fire. When the fire was ablaze, she threw the shell, the needle, and what seemed to be a small package into its midst. She vigorously fanned the flames with a straw fan, the volume of her voice rising.

Suddenly, as if they had leapt from some great hearth in my throat, the words of Antonia's song came to me, and I began to sing along with her. When the needle, the shell, and the package were consumed in the fire, Antonia put her left arm around my neck and kissed me many times while continuing to fan the fire with her right hand. Between her kisses, I heard the word "never" repeated over and over again. After a while she released me.

Putting the fan in my hand, she said to me, "Wait for me but don't stop fanning the fire until the last cinder turns to ash."

I did as she asked, not even thinking it strange. Antonia left the kitchen, and I fanned till nothing but ashes were left in the fireplace. Then I sat down and waited for her return. I waited all that morning and afternoon. By nightfall, seeing my vigilance unrewarded, my mother declared, "What a terrible and peculiar person Antonia is! What has happened to her? She left just like that without even saying good-bye."

During the next several days, my mother and father made inquiries about her of the police. They feared she might have met with an accident. Four days after her disappearance, they put an announcement in the papers, but with no response.

I, however, knew Antonia better than my parents. I realized that her departure was no more mysterious than her arrival had been. Little by little, I began to accept it.

At the end of dinner one night, my mother asked me with tears in her eyes, "But after she came to meet you by a real miracle, don't you have any feelings for Antonia? Aren't you worried about her? Are you the monster I feared you were when you opened the live mouse to see how a child comes to life?"

I had no language to answer my mother. She became furious at my silence and screamed hysterically, "My son, I am less than a dog to you, isn't it so? Answer me at once!"

Without being able to control myself, hard as I tried, I burst into loud laughter. Then I sang the Tarascan song Antonia had sung to me the last time we were together.

My mother's eyes grew wide. Real terror showed in her face. Glancing at me as if she feared that I would do her some harm, she got out of her chair and ran to the living room where my father was working at his books. After a while, I grew quiet. I went to find my mother, to placate her.

Approaching the living room, I heard her whisper to my father, "It is necessary to do something for the boy. I'm afraid he's out of his mind."

My father laughed softly. "No, Chiquita, he's all right. You gave birth to him, but that one gave him life. No matter where she is, he feels she will always be with him and will never leave him."

"Por Dios! You have gone as mad as the boy. What do you mean? Where is Antonia now? What has happened to her? Why will she never leave him? I don't understand. Why is it my destiny to live with people as crazy as the two of you?" And my mother began to cry bitterly.

Stealthily I went away. I walked out of the house into the street. The night was clear, familiar and warm.

No, Antonia would never leave me.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:15 am

REVOLUTIONARY WITH A PAINTBOX

Having regained my strength, I began to paint again. I was determined to exorcise the Spanish influences remaining in me. I worked chiefly on landscapes into which I tried consciously to infuse a strong Mexican character. Of these, I know only one that has been preserved; it is a landscape in the Paul Antebi collection in Mexico City.

The effect of these efforts did not prove lasting. When I returned to Europe in 1912, I experienced a complete regression in style. In Toledo, I did a painting which, though it suggests a growing awareness of naturalism and cubism, shows the influence of El Greco. This painting was purchased for the King collection in New York; about twenty-five years ago, it was in the possession of a Mrs. Murphy, who loaned it for an exhibit sponsored by the New York Museum of Modern Art. In the same year in Paris, I painted a portrait which shows a similar Spanish derivation. Titled "The Man with the Umbrella," it appeared in an exhibition organized by the Mexican artist Angel Zarraga. I do not know what was the fate of this work, nor do I much care.

During the four years I had been away from Mexico, the political situation had deteriorated, and unrest was reaching a revolutionary pitch. Diaz, sensing that the end of his thirty-year dictatorship was near, yet unwilling to relinquish absolute power, was resorting to open terrorism.

One day a friend of mine named Vargasrea and I had a lunch appointment with a third comrade, General Everaro Gonzales Hernandez, in a popular restaurant in Mexico City. Vargasrea and I were late, because I had been painting in a distant part of the city, and it took us longer to get to the restaurant than we had anticipated.

On our arrival at the restaurant, we found General Hernandez rolling in agony on the floor. He had been poisoned, but no doctor had been summoned by the frightened waiters and customers.

Gasping his last breath, he told Vargasrea to sell his horse, his saddle, and his side arms and use the money to pay his debts. These possessions, he said, were all he had left in the world. And then he died. Thanks to our being delayed, Vargasrea and I almost certainly escaped being poisoned, too. Many other opponents of the dictatorship had died after eating an apparently harmless meal.

As a contribution to the revolution, I designed a huge poster, copies of which were distributed among the peasants throughout all Mexico. Its message to the poor, ignorant farmers was that divine law did not forbid them to repossess the land which rightfully belonged to them. The corrupt Church of the time had been preaching the converse.

The slogan dominating the poster read: THE DISTRIBUTION OF LAND TO THE POOR IS NOT CONTRARY TO THE TEACHINGS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.

Since the majority of the peasants could not read, the message was illustrated by a painting showing a family plowing their field behind a team of oxen. Above the oxen hovered a benevolent image of Christ fondly gazing upon his children, whom he blessed for preparing the field for growing.

My paintbox might symbolize my state of mind at this time. Underneath the tubes of color was live ammunition, which I carried to partisans behind the government lines. Many of these revolutionary fighters were friends of my childhood and early youth.

Every district of Mexico City had its network of underground cells. I was sometimes invited to speak to the members, usually about painting. I fulfilled my assignments to the letter, but I also seized upon every pretext to inspire my audience to greater revolutionary fervor.

But, the poster excepted, I did not do a single sketch expressing my revolutionary feelings. My eyes were, however, transmitting to my brain continuous, vivid images, which have never lost their distinctness. When I later painted scenes going back to this period, I seldom had any need of preliminary drawings.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:15 am

A PLOT TO KILL DIAZ

From time to time, I continued working on landscapes. I also began to prepare an exhibition of the paintings I had brought back from Europe. I went about this task with inward repugnance because of my dissatisfaction with these works. However, I was badly in need of money. I wanted to return to Europe to resume my studies, and I had not forgotten Angeline.

I was helped in my preparations for the exhibition by my friend Francisco Urquidi, then Secretary of the School of Fine Arts, and its Director, Lebrija. My former teachers Jose Velasco, Felix Parra, and Jose Posada also took part in arranging the show.

Perhaps because I was bored and disgusted, I hatched a plot with Lebrija and the architect Eduardo Hay to give the exhibition a more worthwhile purpose. Our aim was nothing less than the assassination of Diaz, which we believed would save the lives of many brave Mexican freedom fighters.

The exhibition was to open at eleven o'clock in the morning on November 20, 1910. My part in the plot was to smuggle explosives into the school in my paintbox. My friends, the officials of the school, pulled wires to get Diaz to attend the opening. We were elated when we received word that Diaz had accepted their invitation.

I arrived at the school long before eleven and met Lebrija. A tall and gaunt Don Quixote, he was nervously wringing his hands in impatience.

He said, "All right, Diego, we are awaiting the command of the pestilente," and his eyes shone with a bright unnatural fire.

As I climbed the stairway, paintbox in hand, I saw Urquidi staring down at me. He didn't say a word but practically pushed me into his office, took the box, opened the small steel safe which contained the school funds, and locked the paintbox inside it.

"It will stay there till the right moment," he declared, embracing me warmly and whispering in my ear, "Viva la Revolucion."

But, unfortunately, the right moment to open the safe never came. A few minutes after the explosives had been stowed away, the Chief of Police arrived at the school, accompanied by plainclothesmen, uniformed police, and soldiers of the regular army. Politely, he asked for Lebrija, the Director, who, I knew, was now too scared to come down. I told the Chief that he had not yet been seen.

At last, having screwed up his courage, Lebrija appeared, exchanged introductions with the visitors, and took them on a tour of the school as he was expected to do. Along the way, the police examined everything they came upon -- except the safe. Which goes to show how their respect for property can be used against the police. I was with Urquidi, near the door of his office, when the police approached. The Chief stepped forward to shake hands with Urquidi, who then introduced me. When the cops looked around, Urquidi made a gesture as if to open the drawers to show them that nothing was hidden there, but the Chief stopped him.

"What do you mean, architect?" he asked good-humoredly, and then ordered his men to leave the building. Then, promising to return with the President to see my paintings, he bowed himself out. But instead of Diaz, his wife, Dona Carmen Romero Rubio de Diaz, patroness of the arts and philanthropy, arrived as the President's representative. It was she who officially opened the exhibition. Senora Diaz asked permission to make the first purchase. She paid handsomely for "Pedro's Place," actually the most important canvas in the show. It pictured a group of Basque fishermen and their wives returning from work. This painting, as well as many others of my early and late years, is today in the collection of Solo Hale in Mexico.

Before leaving, Senora Diaz congratulated me with a fine aristocratic smile. But I was really disappointed; there had been no occasion to open the steel safe.

Perhaps the Chief of Police was cleverer than we were. I prefer to believe that Senora Diaz was cleverer than he and the men who had hoped to murder her husband.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:16 am

DEHESA

Though our plot against Diaz fizzled, the exhibition was a huge success. Of all my paintings only two were not adorned with the cards of purchasers when the opening day was over.

But the day had had its bad side. At four o'clock in the afternoon, I had received the news of the heroic resistance and death of a brother revolutionary, Aquiles Serdan. With the support only of his wife, his brother, two sisters, and a neighbor, Serdan had stood off the entire garrison of Puebla. His aged mother had passed the ammunition for the guns. When the troops finally broke into his house, his little daughter was shot down by an officer. The child had been found still holding some cartridges in her hand.

A few months later, the memory of Serdan and his family would revive the flagging spirits of the revolutionaries and help to bring about the downfall of Diaz.

After the exhibition, I went to the south, where I joined Zapata's peasant partisans in the state of Morelos. Much of the time I worked with a former schoolmate named Penioroja. An able mechanic, Penioroja had invented a small, simple bomb, so designed as to blow up only the baggage cars of trains. This saved the locomotives, which were useful to the rebels. It also spared the lives of the passengers, most of them the very people for whom the revolution was being fought.

Penioroja's valuable invention was just the size of my paintbox. That is why, in this period, my artistic output showed no appreciable increase.

At the end of six months as an active rebel, I received a message from Don Antonio Rivas Mercado, an old and trusted friend who was also an official in the Diaz government, asking me to come to see him at once. He had sent this request with one of his coachmen. As soon as I had digested the words, I jumped into the coach and was driven away.

I found Mercado waiting for me. He immediately directed that I pack a valise with only the barest necessities and arms and tell my family that I had to leave the city for a few days. I was to say that I was visiting the farm of one of Mercado's friends, where I would find interesting subjects to paint. When I told this story in a hasty leave-taking in my home, my mother showed anxiety, but my father seemed to understand perfectly.

Bag in hand, I now rode to Don Antonio's house a second time.

He said, "You might well say you've been lucky to have a friend in the Diaz government. Unless you leave in my carriage at once and get as far from Mexico City as you can by tonight, without being seen, you'll certainly find yourself before a firing squad. The order for your arrest and execution for treason has already been issued. Fortunately, the Chief of Police is a relative of mine and a good friend of your father. He was the one who passed on the warning to me. He promised, even if he gets fired, to hold up the order till seven o'clock tonight. Good luck."

Urgency in his face, he embraced me. I hurried out and lay down flat on the floor of the carriage. The coachman, already instructed, took the road towards Puebla, passed through Tlaxcala, and arrived late at night in Apizaco. There I felt safe enough, seeing no government soldiers about, the partisans being in control of much of the territory in this region.

The next day I boarded a train to Jalapa, the home of my sponsor, Governor Dehesa. This noble man, always highly esteemed by all the old liberals, was still respected, even by the revolutionaries. The City of Jalapa was surrounded by insurgent troops, but because of Dehesa they hesitated to lay siege to it.

As the train approached Jalapa, it was halted by a party of guerillas. Their chief and an armed escort climbed into my car to look for arms and ammunition. The partisan leader asked the passengers if any of them wanted to give money or clothes for the revolution. Everyone in the car contributed something.

I removed my ammunition belt with its revolver, and I presented it to one of the partisans. He laughed aloud.

"Do you carry such an arsenal with you that you can afford to make a present of these?" he asked. "With what are you, yourself, going to fight?"

Looking directly into his face, I recognized the worn, tired features of my uncle, Carlos Barrientos.

We shook hands warmly.

"Diego, where are you going? Did you come here to stay with us?" he asked.

"No, Uncle, I'm going to Jalapa."

"All right. In that case, you can give us your arms and get as many weapons as you need from Governor Dehesa. I understand now why you offered them. Good. The more we have, the better. You can tell Governor Dehesa that he has nothing to fear from us. We know him to be a real liberal, always opposed to the damned reactionaries. Tell him we're sorry he can't be one of us, but we realize that, as a man of honor, he has to show loyalty to his old friend, Diaz."

On my arrival in Jalapa, I went directly from the depot to confer with the Governor. He greeted me warmly, and when I gave him my uncle's message, he was deeply moved. A sad smile passed across his face. He said not a word, but shook his head in a gesture of gratitude while tears gathered in the corners of his eyes.

After about a minute of thoughtful silence, he asked, "And why can't I join them? They are my own people, really my sons. My big brother Diaz mistook his way. Nothing can again stop the revolution. There may be a long fight, but once the people are aroused, they always win. But should I renege on my old friendship with Diaz for that? Could the historians of the future be sure of my motives? Would it not be thought that I joined the uprising to be on the winning side? I fought beside Diaz when he was a persecuted rebel and trapped like a mad dog. Also, my boy, I'm old. You like me because my door and my hand have always been open to anyone who wished to enter my house."

What he had said was true. In fact, the hinges of his doors were rusted because, in all the years of his administration, they had never been closed.

Dehesa then asked me my plans, and when I told him that I wanted to return to Europe, he expressed his gratitude for the trust I had shown him, an official of the Diaz government. He gave me some messages to bring to the rebel leaders, saying that he would send an escort party with me.

I took my leave and went to my room. While I waited for the escort, I changed into a rough riding habit. Dehesa's guard arrived at the same time as my friend, the painter Arguelles, and everyone's eyes opened wide on seeing my costume.

Arguelles exclaimed, "Caramba! What a big bandit you look like in that getup!"

When I glanced at myself in the mirror, I had to agree with my friend. I certainly looked big and tough.

In the insurgents' camp, the leaders refused to deal with anyone but me. I gave Dehesa's messages to them and afterwards they gave me a message of friendship to bring back to the Governor.

At the rebels' invitation, Arguelles and I spent four or five days in the camp. As we were preparing to leave, one of their chiefs approached me.

"Why are you going, Rivera? If you live long enough to be an old man, you will realize that you could not have fared better anywhere in the world than right here among us." He threw back his head proudly and gestured toward the wonderful landscape.

I thanked him but told him I knew the only road I must travel.

For the truth was that this phase of the revolution was almost at an end. The peasant irregulars of Orozco, Zapata, and Pancho Villa were sweeping on to certain victory. There was no more I could do now. I knew that the masses who were toppling the leaden throne of Porfirio Dfaz were not ready to take power for themselves. Diaz's henchmen would be supplanted by "professional politicians" and petit bourgeois time servers who would move quickly to harness the strength of the people. There would be a show of reform, but the social and economic inequalities which had given rise to the revolution would appear again out of the smoke and dust. And there would be more conflict and violence.

Perhaps, at a later time, when I had found myself as a man and an artist, I would return to my beautiful homeland and teach the people what they must learn.

So I went back to Jalapa and delivered the rebels' message to Governor Dehesa. Then I took time out to paint a landscape. I used the nearby forest as a foreground and limned the majestic mountains in the distance.

About a week later, I sailed for Havana. There I booked passage to Europe.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:16 am

SEA DUTY

I SAILED ON THE Alfonso Trece, an old Spanish steamer, overdue for the scrap heap. The Alfonso, however, was the easiest vessel to board with my irregular papers. Her destination, Spain, was also the least difficult country through which to enter Europe.

The ship remained in Havana for about three days. From Havana, the journey to the nearest Spanish port usually took eighteen or nineteen days. This voyage, however, lasted seven days longer.

The third day out of Havana, I perceived a great deal of uneasiness among the officers and for a good reason. The Alfonso was short of lifeboats and other rescue equipment. A gale was blowing, piling up high seas in which the old steamer rolled dangerously. The passengers grew sick, and every day fewer of them showed up in the dining room.

Finally, there were only three coming to meals. I was one. The other two were both sea captains. Naturally, we became good friends.

The younger of the captains, a Catalonian named Roig, was about thirty-five and full of sharp Mediterranean humor. His conversation was as tangy as garlic and as light as olive oil. Roig was a minor executive of El Valle Nacional, a wealthy tobacco firm, infamous for its exploitation of its workers during the Diaz regime, and he himself was anything but gentle. In addition to supervising the virtually enslaved tobacco workers, he made commercial sea voyages to South America with cargoes of tobacco products, vanilla, and indigo, which he traded for algaroba in Peru and coffee in Brazil. When the opportunity presented itself, he was not averse to enlarging his exchequer by smuggling contraband.

The older sea captain possessed the almost unpronounceable name of Huruchaustegui. He had sailed in such faraway waters as the Indian Ocean and the Melanesian and Micronesian Seas. He could recall experiences of seventy years before. He must have been at least eighty-five. This venerable sailor was returning to Spain to die in peace on his native coast. Captain Huruchaustegui spoke a strange language which consisted of almost no Spanish, a little Japanese, more Chinese, and a great deal of Malayan. Though it was almost impossible for anyone to understand him, he would make long speeches throughout the day.

Each morning, the two captains and I would meet for breakfast, The crew, aware that my companions were captains and I their friend, made us the delighted recipients of the choicest food and the most devoted service. Our diningroom steward wore his pants rolled up high above his knees, because the sea washed in through all the doors.

With so few customers the ship's cook had opportunity to use all his art, and we encouraged him with congratulations and applause. Breakfast was so enormous that we only had time to smoke two or three cigars before lunch was served. Besides, there really was no reason to leave the dining room.

What marvelous lunches we had! No soups, because it would have been impossible to eat them, but unbelievably juicy steaks, delicious red snappers, and huge sweetmeated crabs.

When the dishes were ready, the steward would place them before the older captain who, making the sign of the cross over his head and chest, would then commence to cut the meat into three equal parts. As he served, he would chant, "In the name of the Father," putting the middle part in his plate, "in the name of the Son," in the Catalonian's plate and "in the name of the Holy Ghost," in mine.

Many bottles of wine were likewise emptied in honor of the Holy Trinity. We made each other laugh and sing, and each of us would retell the story of his life without any of the others listening, caring, or understanding.

On the eighth day of this ecstatic regime, the first mate entered the dining room and politely asked permission of the captains to have a few words with me privately. We were about to be served our lunch-hour liquor, and I assumed the mate was going to speak to me about the way we had been swilling the ship's supply of intoxicants.

It turned out, however, to be nothing of the kind. "Above everything," he began, "I first convey to you and the two captains, your friends, the apologies of our Old Man, who would have liked to enjoy the good company of you hard- oiled mariners and guests of his ship. I want to tell you, personally, how sorry I am, too, not to have partaken of your company, as the rules require. But I'm certain you understand the situation. You're all good enough sailors to know there's a chance of our going under. And we know that when things are as they are, only real seaman can eat and drink as you've been doing. The trouble is we're carrying civilian passengers who have no understanding of our precarious situation.

"The Old Man and I have literally not closed our eyes for the past two days. The Old Man sleeps at the commander's desk, standing up. He's practically through. The men below are in the hands of the ship's doctor.

"The tradition of the sea authorizes the skipper to ask a meritorious service from any professional seaman traveling on his ship during an emergency. Therefore, my boy and comrade, you must excuse me for asking, but would you please convey the Skipper's request to your captain friends. He asks them to take one turn every three days at the commander's desk, and you, if you will, shall divide my time with me."

I replied promptly and with gusto, "Fine, I'll tell the captains pronto and I know they'll be as greatly honored as I am. But, my friend, I'm not really a seaman. I could as easily be a substitute Pope as a substitute sailor."

"Stop talking like that, my boy! Do you think I came to talk to you without first studying the passenger list? You're the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. All right; but as good a painter as you may be, no damn fool in the entire world could eat, drink, and have such fun when he knows his ship might sink momentarily if he didn't have the stuff of a true sailor. So that's settled."

I didn't attempt to argue with him. I remembered my feelings as a child when I had seen the ship model in General Hinojoso's library. I thought of boyhood days on the beaches of Veracruz, where I had battled the surf raised by the furious north wind. I returned to the table and gave the captains the message. They responded with whoops of joy, the Catalonian Roig twirling his mustaches in anticipation.

When I got back to the first officer, I asked, "Listen, friend, who is in charge downstairs, below deck, right now?"

"Only the cargo master. Both of the officers are out of service," he said.

"Then I will go downstairs and stay there until one or the other of these men recovers sufficiently to replace me."

"But how dare I allow that? That's the hardest service on the ship."

"Two of your men are out. Have you the right to refuse replacement?"

The first officer stiffened, looked me square in the eye as he touched his hand to his cap, and said smiling, "You're right, Mexican. That's the way of your country. Thank you!"

He left to get me service togs and soon returned with a helmet with microphones over the ears and a pair of coveralls for protection against the heat. When I had dressed, he gave me two long whips and a pistol.

"These are to preserve your authority," he explained.

I started downstairs toward the hold. Here, through clouds of smoke and black dust, I could see the cargo. I knew that the heavy crates had to be shifted frequently in order to keep the ship balanced; that if the ship tipped too far, the skidding boxes would smash the hull. I could see a pair of soot-stained mariners engaged in the backbreaking work of lifting an enormous crate.

I walked past them, threw my whips and pistol in a corner, and adjusting my helmet, shouted to the men, "Listen, comrades, I'm nothing but a Mexican passenger. I'm here because I was asked to help. I'm as interested as you are in stopping this ship from going to hell and taking us all with it. A Mexican comrade does not need whips or guns to keep his Spanish comrades working. Isn't that so? So I'm going to tell you what the man upstairs ordered, and you're going to do it."

After looking me over, they shouted back, "Go ahead, we're with you!"

The men worked on without pause or complaint though, by now, they were on the verge of exhaustion.

I was inspired to pitch in with more energy than I had believed I possessed. In the darkness of a ship's hold there is no way to measure the passing of the hours except in variations of pain and fatigue. Three or four times I was asked from above whether I needed to be replaced. Looking at the valiant sailors, on the point of collapsing before my eyes, I angrily answered "No!" I held my post until the rolling of the ship subsided and the danger was past.

Before we arrived in Santander, my port of debarkation, the captain of the Alfonso gave a banquet for his passengers, honoring the bravery and courageous services of the two captains and the Mexican painter. More important, he presented gifts of three thousand pesetas to each of my captain friends and two thousand pesetas to me, which I admit I appreciated more than the glory.

The captains and I spent all our money together along the way from Santander to Madrid and Barcelona, trying to have an even better time ashore than we had had in our first days at sea. When our money ran out, I took regretful leave of my shipmates and entrained for Paris. In September, 1911, I was in Paris again.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:16 am

REUNION WITH ANGELINE

IN PARIS, I immediately went to see Angeline Belloff. Our reunion was rapturous. Both of us had agreed to wait until this moment to see whether our love was strong enough to withstand the test of separation.

We now decided to live together.

For the next ten years that I spent in Europe, Angeline lived with me as my common-law wife. During all that time, she gave me everything a good woman can give to a man. In return, she received from me all the heartache and misery that a man can inflict upon a woman.

We later had a son, the only son I have ever sired, who died of meningitis before he was two years old.

In a little while, I had set up a comfortable menage and recommenced my studies and experiments in painting.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:18 am

PICASSO

Image
Portrait of Martín Luis Guzmán, 1915, oil on canvas, Fundación Televisa, A.C. Mexico City

In 1913 I had reached the cubist phase of my development. I worked hard at my cubist paintings all through that year and the first half of 1914, because everything about the movement fascinated and intrigued me.

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La mujer del pozo (The Woman at the Well), 1913, oil on canvas, Museo Nacional de Arte, CONACULTA, INBA, Mexico City. Verso of Paisaje Zapatista (Zapatista Landscape)

It was a revolutionary movement, questioning everything that had previously been said and done in art. It held nothing sacred. As the old world would soon blow itself apart, never to be the same again, so cubism broke down forms as they had been seen for centuries, and was creating out of the fragments new forms, new objects, new patterns and -- ultimately -- new worlds. When it dawned on me that all this innovation had little to do with real life, I would surrender all the glory and acclaim cubism had brought me for a way in art truer to my inmost feelings.

But in 1913-14, nothing was more exciting in art than the cubist movement. Shortly after the beginning of 1913, to prepare for the Salon d'Automne, I went to Toledo, Spain, to do a series of paintings which openly connected me with the movement. I later used some of these Toledo canvases in my first one-man show in Paris in 1914.

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Still Life with Bottle, 1914, drawing with pencil, papier-collé and gouache on paper, 35.5 x 19 cm, government of Veracruz, Mexico. Among the papers Rivera used is some wallpaper.

At about this time I also painted three memorable noncubist works: a portrait of my elegant fellow artist Adolfo Best; a big ferris wheel; and a foreground of the Montparnasse Station.

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Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard), 1913, oil on canvas, Museo Nacional de Arte, CONACULTA, INBA, Mexico City

I could see the latter from my studio window and, in the painting, I tried to give an impression of the trains in motion. It was a large canvas, and my friends were so impressed with it that they urged me to send it to the Independent Artists Exposition, which I did. A good friend of mine on the placement committee gave the work the best space in the show. It proved to be one of the most popular canvases, and reproductions of it were published in several art reviews. It was even caricatured among a selection of the best paintings of the shows of the year.

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Nature morte espagnole (Spanish Still Life), 1915, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of Katharine Graham

On another .journey to Toledo, I completed certain canvases I had started there and did many new ones. I brought all these paintings back with me to Paris in the fall of I914, dividing most of the completed ones between the Salon and the Independents and sending the remainder for display in Prague and, later, the United States.

In 1914 I was already beginning to be referred to by the critics as one of the more interesting members of the cubist movement. I was even gaining a certain fame among the avant garde. Best of all, I was living on the practice of my art, and painting as I liked.

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"Naturaleza Muerta," by Diego Rivera, oil on canvas, 11 1/8 by 15 1/8 inches, 1916

The greatest of the cubists and my idol at the time was Pablo Picasso. I was eager to meet this already celebrated Spaniard, but my shyness prevented me from approaching him directly. Somehow, however, Picasso learned of my feelings toward him and one day he sent me a message through a mutual friend.

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Table on a Café Terrace, 1915, Oil on canvas; 23 7/8 x 19 1/2 in. (60.6 x 49.5 cm), Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.70.51), © 2004 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F.

This friend, the talented Chilean painter Ortes de Zarete, came to my apartment early one morning. "Picasso sent me to tell you that if you don't go to see him, he's coming to see you."

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Motherhood- Angelina and the Child Diego (Maternidad- Angelina y el niño Diego), oil on canvas, Museo de Arte Alvar y Carmen T. de Carrillo Gil, Mexico City.

I accepted the invitation with pleasure and gratitude and immediately accompanied Zarete to Picasso's, together with my friends the Japanese painters Fujita and Kawashima, who were posing for a canvas I was then doing. This was a portrait showing two heads close to one another in a color scheme of greens, blacks, reds, and yellows. Typical of my work of this period, it owed not a little to Mondrian, a good friend and neighbor, with whom I had been exchanging ideas and artistic experiences.

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The Architect (Jesús T. Acevedo), 1915, oil on canvas, Museo de Arte Carillo Gil, CONACULTA, INBA, Mexico City

Dressed in the costumes used for the portrait, my Japanese models looked picturesque and amusing. Both wore long toga-like robes and sandals. Their hair was cut in bangs over their foreheads and encircled with colored ribbons. They appeared to have stepped out of a schoolbook of ancient history.

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Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), 1914, oil on canvas, Private collection, courtesy of Mary-Anne Martin, Fine Art, New York

I went to Picasso's studio intensely keyed up. My feelings were like those of a good Christian who expects to meet Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Woman in an Easy Chair, 1917

The interview was marvelous. Picasso's studio was full of his exciting canvases; grouped together they had an impact more powerful than when shown by dealers as individual masterpieces. They were like living parts of an organic world Picasso had himself created.

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Portrait of Maximilian Volonchine, 1914-1917

As for the man, will and energy blazed from his round black eyes. His black, glossy hair was cut short like the hair of a circus strong man. A luminous atmosphere seemed to surround him. My friends and I were absorbed for hours, looking at his paintings. Our interest so pleased him that he let us see his most intimate sketchbooks. Finally, Zarete and the Japanese said good-bye and left; but when I made a motion to go, Picasso asked me to stay and have lunch with him, after which he went back with me to my studio.

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El puente de San Martín, 1913, Oil on canvas, 91 x 111 cm

There he asked to see everything I had done from beginning to end. I had completed my painting "Sailor Eating and Drinking," and several others that I liked: a second portrait of Adolfo Best called "The Man in the Stilograph" (now in the collection of the sculptor Indenbaum); and the still lifes "Balalaika" and "Bottle of Spanish Anise."

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Sailor at Lunch, (Navy Rifleman), 1914, Oil on Canvas, 44 7/8 x 27 9/16 inches, Marta R.Gómez- INBA Collection
Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Guanajuato

After I had shown Picasso these paintings, we had dinner together and stayed up practically the whole night talking. Our theme was cubism -- what it was trying to accomplish, what it had already done, and what future it had as a "new" art form.

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Still Life with Balalaika, 1913, oil on canvas, Bergen Kunstmuseum

With this meeting, Picasso and I became great friends. He brought all his own friends to visit my studio: the writers Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Jacob; the painters Georges Seurat, Juan Gris, and others. Picasso's enthusiasm for my work caused a sensation in Montparnasse. My contemporaries who felt kindly toward me were gratified and those who did not were surprised and outraged.

Being accepted by the master of cubism himself was, of course, a source of tremendous personal satisfaction to me. Not only did 1 consider Picasso a great artist, but I respected his critical judgment, which was severe and keen.

My enthusiasm for Picasso has not lessened, though today I would qualify it by two reservations. It seems to me that, in every one of his periods, Picasso has shown more imagination than originality, that everything he has done is based upon the work of somebody else. Also, I have come to feel that Picasso appeals chiefly to the emotions of the upper classes. In contrast with an artist like Renoir, for instance, he lacks a genuine universality. Renoir's first paintings were bought by such ordinary people as his wood dealer and his butcher. It would be hard to imagine Picasso's canvases hanging in any kind of worker's home.

In Paris, Picasso and I used to have the best times, especially when we were by ourselves. Then we would say things about other painters which we would never tell anybody else.

We would walk through the art galleries and take off on other artists' styles on the backs of match boxes. In a spirit of pure mischief, we would often play tricks on our women acquaintances, among whom I had acquired a terrible reputation.

When one of them would come to his studio, Picasso would hide me behind a door. In the course of the conversation, Picasso would happen to mention my name. This would inevitably provoke a stream of epithets from his unsuspecting guest. Picasso would laugh heartily, shrug his shoulders, and say, "Well, I said he was an angel."
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:26 am

WAR

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Portrait de Messieurs Kawashima et Foujita. 1914. Oil and collage on canvas. 31 x 29" (78.5 x 74 cm)

IN MY ONE-MAN SHOW at the Galerie Weill, at the beginning of 1914, I showed both Spanish and French landscapes, still lifes and portraits, including those recently completed of Fujita and Kawashima, "Young Girl with Artichokes," and "Young Girl with a Fan." This, my first European one-man show, was an emphatic declaration that Rivera had become a cubist.

Two works I painted about this time, in which I still feel some pride, are a large canvas called "The Girl Friend" and a portrait of the sculptor Jacques Lipschitz, commonly known as "The Man in the Sweater." Though I had still not mastered the cubist idiom, the latter painting, in particular, was well received. Even today it is admired. Not long ago it was included in an exhibit of modern portraits in the New York Museum of Modern Art. It is a well-constructed canvas, done with warmth and grace.

In the summer of 1914, I painted "The Clock," a surrealistic work with a humble alarm clock, a Russian balalaika, and an advertisement of Shustow cognac in the foreground; and a blue sketchbook and a Mexican motif, a multicolored serape, in the background. I favored the clock because clocks have always been important to me. For some reason, I cannot fall asleep without one ticking underneath my pillow. I carry a clock with me everywhere I go, on boats, trains, and planes.

At the end of my show, in the pre-war months of 1914, Angeline and I made a trip to the Mediterranean island of Majorca, the largest and most beautiful of the islands off the coast of Barcelona. Among the friends who accompanied us were the beautiful dancer Varmanova and her Russian poet husband; the sculptor Jacques Lipschitz; a student friend of his named Landau; and an English painter whom we called Kenneth. Myself excepted, no one in our group believed that war would come. Angeline and our friends were all pacifists. Unable to conceive of violence on a large scale, they dubbed me "The Wild Cowboy" for believing that the "civilized" nations of Europe would soon fall upon one another in mass orgies of killing.

Despite my conviction that war was inevitable, I had joined my friends when they risked their necks in workers' demonstrations against war, and now I wished with all my heart that I would be proved wrong. It was not, however, long before they began to see how events were tending. On French Independence Day, July 14, 1914, we were all drinking and making merry when the news of the Austrian Archduke's assassination reached us, and it was reported that fighting was already going on in the Balkans.

Soon after, we took the ferry to Barcelona, where we heard the ominous report that Russia had just declared war upon Austria. However, Russia's allies, England and France, had not yet acted. Our company could not decide what to do, and it was with a feeling of helplessness that we reembarked for Majorca. As we neared the coast, we saw an English destroyer firing at a German submarine.

We stayed three months longer on the wonderful, isolated island, feeling as remote from the conflict on the continent as if we were in the South Seas. Finally, mobilization orders came for the Russian poet and the English painter, both of whom were reserve officers. The rest of us, Lipschitz who had tuberculosis, Landau who simply didn't want to be killed, and myself, citizen of a noncombatant country, huddled together in Barcelona for several days.

We had run out of money. We had expected to go back to Paris and there sell some of our work, but that was now impossible. Landau, whose father was a banker, succeeded in getting some cash, which he divided with the rest of us.

It didn't amount to much. My subsidy from the Veracruz government had vanished with the downfall of Madero in 1913, and Angeline and I had only one other source of money we could count on. Angeline had been commissioned to paint the Russian national emblem on the wall of the Russian consulate in Barcelona. The payment she received made it possible for us to exist a few more days.

Our situation was further aggravated by the surprise arrival of my mother and my sister from Mexico. Fearing that I might go off to the front, they had come to see me for what they thought might be the last time. So great had been their concern that they had not thought to arrange for passage back nor did they have the money to do so. Angeline and I now had to sell everything we owned to pay for their return tickets.

No sooner were they gone than another unexpected guest arrived, my cousin Juan Macias. He suddenly appeared one day in the doorway of our flat. He had been studying in Germany, where he had been the pet, not only of his tutors, but apparently, also, of many beautiful young frauleins. Juan was short but well built and exceptionally strong, and his favorite amusement was to have me punch him hard in the stomach, with all my might.

"Harder," he would say. "That didn't hurt at all."

For the mere pleasure of seeing the lovely boulevards of Barcelona, Juan accompanied me when I went painting street scenes. The girls of the town would sometimes gather round us in the belief that we were carnival artists. I, of course, wore my Mexican costume. Juan, having left Germany in a hurry, had brought along only the formal clothing he had been wearing -- a derby hat, a long jacket, a fancy dark-gray waistcoat, striped pants, and dapper shoes. It was easy to mistake him for a circus manager or a minor diplomat who had gone astray on his way to a consular reception.

Juan's tutor and other German friends had convinced him that Germany had become his second fatherland and that he owed some service to that nation. As his first assignment, he had been requested to return to Mexico and buy lemons, used in the manufacture of citric acid, important in war chemistry. A German-American electrical concern had given him a large sum of money to carry out this task.

Juan decided that he could act more effectively with a title of nobility, and that had been his reason for coming to see me. He knew I could revalidate my family title before the Spanish court simply by paying the required taxes. Through my paternal grandfather and father, I was entitled to the rank of marquis under the then existing Spanish monarchy.

Though I ridiculed the scheme, I paid the taxes from money Juan gave me and then renounced the title in his favor for a further sum.

With this latter money, Angeline and I were able to leave Barcelona. We journeyed to Madrid, where we decided to remain awhile and work. It was now impossible to paint in France, and many other artists had already left Paris to work in Madrid. Among these were Robert Delaunay, the remarkable colorist, a man full of vitality and pretension; his Russian wife, also a talented artist; Marie Laurencin and her husband, a gifted and wealthy German painter who had refused to fight against France for the German bankers; and our old friend Maria Gutierrez Blanchard, who was now doing original and beautiful work. We also met two of my countrymen, the writer Alfonso Reyes and the architect and art critic Jesus Guizo y Acevedo, whom a turn of Mexican politics had forced to remain in Madrid.

While in Majorca, I had continued my experiments with cubism. I had attempted to achieve new textures and tactile effects by mixing substances like sand and sawdust in oils. Utilizing the results, I had done several interesting landscapes. In Madrid, I now painted some portraits with unusual textures, the most notable being ones I did of Guizo and Ramon de la Serna. All of these paintings contained innovations later employed by the surrealists. At that time, however, they were part of my cubist experiments.

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Portrait of Ramon Gomez de la Serna

I also did a painting of a Madrid bull ring which still interests me today. This canvas and a landscape of Majorca are in the collection of Alfonso Reyes. Another Majorca landscape is owned by my first Mexican wife, Lupe Marin.

During my stay in Madrid, Serna arranged a showing of the works of some of the refugee artists. He dubbed our group Los Integros, because of our wish to express ourselves with complete integrity. The peculiar subject matter of our paintings was thus also given a certain moral varnish, always necessary in Madrid.

The public of Madrid, however, accustomed to a diet of pre-cooked academicism, responded coldly to Serna's exhibit. The reaction of the native artists and intellectuals veered between indulgent pity and outright contempt; the ordinary people laughed openly and made jokes about our subjects and techniques.

Just after this unfortunate experience, I completed my portrait of Serna. The stir it created was quite unlike anything I might have imagined.

Placed in the window of the gallery which had housed the exhibition of Los Integros, it immediately attracted crowds of arguing and jeering people. Men and women fought and pushed to get a closer view. Traffic on the boulevard came to a virtual standstill. Three days later, the Mayor of Madrid himself ordered the painting removed from the window.

The portrait showed the head of a decapitated woman and a sword with a woman's hair on its point, plainly the weapon which had beheaded the woman. In the foreground was an automatic pistol. Beside it and in the center of the canvas was a man holding a pipe in one hand, in the other a pen with which he was writing a novel. He had the appearance of an anarchistic demon, inciting crime and the general overthrow of order. In this Satanic figure everyone recognized the features of Serna, notorious for his opposition to ever conventional, religious, moral, and political principle. But the Spanish people, I believe, responded to something more than an effective caricature. The portrait of Serna caught the prevailing spirit of violent disintegration. It gave a presence to their deepest fears with an intensity which their own academic painting had not prepared them for.

After the spring of 1915, I left Madrid for Paris. I took with me all the paintings I had done in Spain except the Serna portrait, which I had given to Serna himself.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:27 am

YOUR PAINTING IS LIKE THE OTHERS!

ANGELINE REMAINED IN MADRID while I reconnoitered the situation in Paris. My new paintings caused a sensation in the art colony. Opinion was sharply divided, however. Some critics hailed my latest work. Others, notably the orthodox cubists, proposed excommunicating me because of the exoticism they found in it. And the latter were not entirely wrong. When I study the paintings of this period now, I realize that they distinctly show the influence of the pre-Conquest tradition of Mexican art.

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Zapatista Landscape, (The Guerrilla), 1915, Oil on Canvas, 57 3/32x 49 1/4 inches, Marte R. Gómez- INBA Collection, Museo Nacional de Arte

Even the landscapes I did from life in Europe were essentially Mexican in feeling. I recall that, at this time, I did a self-portrait in order to bring into focus the inmost truth about myself. The clearest revelation, however, came from a cubist canvas, "The Zapatistas," which I painted in 1916. It showed a Mexican peasant hat hanging over a wooden box behind a rifle. Executed without any preliminary sketch in my Paris workshop, it is probably the most faithful expression of the Mexican mood that I have ever achieved.

Picasso visited my studio to see my new paintings; he had, of course, heard of the controversy concerning them. He looked and was pleased, and Picasso's approval turned practically the whole of opinion in my favor.

Dealers now took me up. Yet, though I had "arrived," I was still searching for a medium which would better express what I had seen and wished to communicate, a medium which used cubist freedom and invention, but without the tangle of conventions which cubism had now accumulated.

What was behind this discontent with the work I was doing, which was souring my success? In part, it was the conviction that life was changing, that after the war nothing would be the same. I foresaw a new society in which the bourgeoisie would vanish and their taste, served by the subtleties of cubism, futurism, dadaism, constructivism, surrealism, and the like, would no longer monopolize the functions of art.

The society of the future would be a mass society. And this fact presented wholly new problems. The proletariat had no taste; or, rather, its taste had been nurtured on the worst esthetic food, the very scraps and crumbs which had fallen from the tables of the bourgeoisie.

A new kind of art would therefore be needed, one which appealed not to the viewers' sense of form and color directly, but through exciting subject matter. The new art, also, would not be a museum or gallery art but an art the people would have access to in places they frequented in their daily life -- post offices, schools, theaters, railroad stations, public buildings. And so, logically, albeit theoretically, I arrived at mural painting.

My ideas found little favor with most of the painters with whom I discussed them. The few who thought there might be something in them said, "Theoretically, Diego, your stand may be correct, but where is the example? Your painting is exactly like that of the others."

How right they were! I had to demonstrate my ideas in the only one convincing way -- in my work.
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Re: Diego Rivera: My Art, My Life. An Autobiography With Gla

Postby admin » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:27 am

MARIEVNA

I STARTED ON THE NEW PATH one beautifully light afternoon in 1917. Leaving the famous gallery of my dealer, Leonce Rosenberg, I saw a curbside pushcart filled with peaches. Suddenly, my whole being was filled with this commonplace object. I stood there transfixed, my eyes absorbing every detail. With unbelievable force, the texture, forms, and colors of the peaches seemed to reach out toward me. I rushed back to my studio and began my experiments that very day.

Nevertheless, the beginning proved painful and tedious. In the process of tearing myself away from cubism, I met with repeated failures. But I did not give up. It was as if an invisible force was pushing me onward. During the worst hours, I would find comfort in the precept of my old Mexican tutor, Posada, to paint what I knew and felt. And I realized that what I knew best and felt most deeply was my own country, Mexico.

In this agonizing period, I got no encouragement from Rosenberg, who was disconcerted to see me leaving the profitable highroad of cubism for a risky plunge into the unknown. Rosenberg expressed doubt, then disapproval, and finally rage. He threatened to close the art market to me if I persisted in my waywardness, and for a time, he actually succeeded in making his threat good.

My contract with Rosenberg ran from 1915 to 1918, during which years he expected me to rise to the pinnacle of painting fashion, and he could not forgive me for wrecking his grandiose hopes. Poor man, he was simply incapable of realizing that I was on the way to doing something whose value could not be figured up in so many francs or canvases or years, in accordance with the manner of reckoning to which Rosenberg was accustomed.

When Rosenberg saw that his arguments had no effect, he turned his mind and energies and one other, more substantial commodity, his money, to prejudice art critics and fellow painters against me. It was as a result of Rosenberg's efforts that a chapter about my life came to be written. It appeared in a book by the poet Andre Salmon called L'Art Vivant under the title "L'Affaire Rivera." Salmon declared that I had departed from cubism because that school of expression had ceased to please me, and also because Picasso and Braque so thoroughly dominated the cubist movement that there was no important place in it for me.

The first assertion was true enough. My path in modern painting had led from neo-impressionism into cubism and was now leading in a new direction away from cubism. Though I still consider cubism to be the outstanding achievement in plastic art since the Renaissance, I had found it too technical, fixed, and restricted for what I wanted to say. The means I was groping for lay beyond it.

As for my being envious of Braque or Picasso, I will say this. I recognized and accepted Picasso's mastery in cubism from the beginning, I readily proclaimed myself Picasso's disciple. I do not believe it possible for any painter after Picasso not to have been influenced by him in some degree. I have always been proud that Picasso was not only my teacher but my very dear and close friend.

Coming to my defense and advocating my right to paint as I wished, Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a novel in which, conscious of his approaching death and yet in complete control of his expression, he depicted the feelings of an artist in conflict with the vulgar world of the dealers.

Apollinaire's last novel was one of the most forceful and beautiful books I have ever read. It was unfortunately never published for, when Apollinaire died, Rosenberg and other dealers bought the manuscript from his widow and suppressed it, if they did not destroy it.

My artistic problems, muddled enough by the intrigues of the dealers, were further complicated by the advent into my life of Marievna.

After I had returned to Montparnasse from Spain and sent for Angeline to rejoin me, I began associating with a group of Russians who gravitated around the writer Ilya Ehrenburg. Among these companions was a gifted young woman painter named Marievna Vorobiev. Outside the circle of her fellow Russians, Marievna seemed to have no friends in Paris. Pitying her loneliness, Angeline and I began inviting her to our home.

By those who knew her, Marievna was regarded as a sort of "she-devil," not only because of her wild beauty but also because of her fits of violence. When she took offense, she did not hesitate to kick or claw whoever she thought had injured her -- suddenly, without argument or warning.

I found Marievna terribly exciting, and one day she and I became lovers.

In 1917, I left Angeline and lived with Marievna as my wife for half a year. Inevitably, it was an unhappy union, filled with an excruciating intensity which sapped us both. At last we agreed that it was impossible for us to live together any longer. Before we parted, however, Marievna asked for one last tryst. But this meeting proved frustrating because she had begun to menstruate.

As I was leaving her hotel room, intending to return to Angeline, Marievna embraced me. A knife was hidden in her sleeve, and as I kissed her for the last time, she carved a wide gash in the back of my neck, in the same place where, years before, the mounted policeman of Diaz had struck me with his sword.

All at once I began to hear many small golden bells ringing, each note clearer than the one before, the carillon ending with a cathedral-like chime whose reverberations seemed to penetrate to the center of my brain. And then dead silence.

As I lay on the floor unconscious, Marievna cut her throat.

Neither of us died, however. A few days later Marievna was again sitting at the cafe tables with a bandage around her neck which, the war having just ended, was quite in fashion. On the day of the Armistice, I saw Marievna celebrating the return of peace in the Paris streets, the cynosure of a throng of white, yellow, and black soldiers, all rejoicing in their escape from further risk of death.

About six months after I had resumed living with Angeline, Marievna began taking a stand before the door of our house. She would display herself there day and night. It was not long before I was aware of the increased size of her abdomen and realized the purpose of her action. She was pregnant and she was accusing me of deserting her with child.

When the child, a girl, was born, Marievna exhibited her as living proof of my infamy. She succeeded in turning many of my friends, Ehrenburg included, against me. Not content with this, when Mexican officials came to Montparnasse to coat themselves with esthetic varnish, Marievna complained to them about the terrible thing she said I had done.

Ashamed of the awful behavior of their compatriot and enraptured by the beauty of Marievna's work, they purchased many of her paintings to compensate her for the damage done to her by Rivera. She achieved similar results with sentimental American collectors. They began pestering me with appeals to repent and help her. Of course, I paid no attention to them. The child Marika, now grown up and married, is a lovely woman and an accomplished dancer. For many years, she too wrote me letters and sent me photographs in the hope of softening my flinty old heart. I never responded. The past was past. Even if, by the barest chance, I was really her father, neither she nor Marievna ever actually needed me.

Some years after we parted, Marievna met and captured the hearts of both Maxim Gorky and his son. Marievna loved the virility of Gorky fils and the genius of Gorky pere. In their contest for Marievna's favors, father and son became permanently estranged. Because the son was a Bolshevik at that time, the father became an anti-Bolshevik, and it was years before he returned to Russia after it became Soviet.
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