Cubist Landscape (1912) was inspired by a trip that Diego Rivera made to Spain on 1911, where he encountered the olive trees of Catalonia. The serrated blue ridge in the painting evokes Montserrat, a mountain in the region. The work exemplifies the idiosyncratic approach to Cubism that Rivera developed in the 1910s, when he lived in Paris. He saw these early works, which combine a sun-drenched palette with kaleidoscopic planes and abstract patterning, as a way of beginning to forge a specifically Mexican modernism. “My Cubist paintings,” he said, “are my most Mexican.”
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
In the distinct brand of cubism that he developed while living temporarily in Paris, Diego Rivera used small dots of color, a technique known as Pointillism, to amplify contrasts in texture and pattern. Here, the sleek bottle of green liquid, presumably absinthe, and shiny metal spoon, necessary for preparing the potent drink, are paired against a strip of camouflage tablecloth, a reference to World War I. Additionally, Rivera includes references to his homeland, such as the cigar box with a partial label reading BENITO JUA underneath a miniature Mexican Landscape. This label refers to Benito Juarez, the president of Mexico from1858 until his death in 1872.
The Cafe Terrace is apart of the Permanent Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.