Zapata

A work made of oil on canvas.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1930

Artist:

José Clemente Orozco
Mexican, 1883–1949

About this artwork

This dramatic canvas was painted during José Clemente Orozco’s self-imposed exile in the United States, where he took up residence in 1927. He moved in part to escape political unrest but also because he felt that it was increasingly difficult to get commissions in his native land. A leader of the Mexican mural movement of the 1920s and 1930s, Orozco claimed to have painted Zapata to finance his trip back to New York after completing a mural commission in California. For liberal Mexicans, Emiliano Zapata became a symbol of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) after his assassination in 1919. The charismatic Zapata crusaded to return the enormous holdings of wealthy landowners to Mexico’s peasant population. Here his specterlike figure appears in the open door of a peasant hut. Despite the drama before him, the revolutionary hero seems solemn and unmoved. The painting is filled with menacing details—the bullets, the dagger, and especially the sword aimed at Zapata’s eye—and the somber palette of dark reds, browns, and blacks further underscores the danger of the revolutionary conflict.

On View

American Art, Gallery 263

Artist

José Clemente Orozco

Title

Zapata

Origin

México

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 .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share