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Zapata

Painting in shades of dark red, brown, and black, depicting figures crowded in a doorway of a small hut, engaged in conflict. One man looms in front of the doorway with a stoic expression, and four other figures kneel and stand beside him. One points a sword at his face.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

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  • Painting in shades of dark red, brown, and black, depicting figures crowded in a doorway of a small hut, engaged in conflict. One man looms in front of the doorway with a stoic expression, and four other figures kneel and stand beside him. One points a sword at his face.

Date:

1930

Artist:

José Clemente Orozco
Mexican, 1883–1949

About this artwork

A sense of danger pervades this painting of Emiliano Zapata, the leader of an army of Mexican laborers that fought for liberty and land redistribution for the poor during the early 20th century: bullets are strung across a man’s shoulder, a sword is pointed at another’s eye, and figures kneel in enervated poses. José Clemente Orozco portrayed Zapata silhouetted against a doorway, standing before two other revolutionaries and two grieving figures. For Orozco and other leftist Mexicans, Zapata—assassinated in 1919—became a symbol of the revolution that took place from 1910 to 1920. With its emphasis on violence and suffering, this depiction is ambiguous rather than laudatory. A leader of the Mexican mural movement, Orozco worked in his home country as well as in the United States, painting Zapata in California.

Status

On View, Gallery 263

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

José Clemente Orozco

Title

Zapata

Place

Mexico (Artist's nationality)

Date

1930

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed lower left: J. C. Orozco Inscribed lower left: S. F. JULIO, 1930

Dimensions

198.8 × 122.6 cm (78 1/4 × 48 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Joseph Winterbotham Collection

Reference Number

1941.35

Copyright

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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