Portrait of Armand Reclus

Armand Reclus was one of the French engineers of the Panama Canal. There is a monument to him in the old city of Panama.

This drawing is an example of Rivera’s ‘Ingresque’ style and evidences his thorough academic training in the art of drawing before he left Mexico, as well his return to classicism as a result of his gradual decision in 1916 to free himself from the yoke of Cubism. Luis-Martin Lozano points out that “Picasso understood well this formal exhaustion, as early as in 1915, when he decided to return to a more linear quality of drawing, reminiscent of academic studies and particularly to the neoclassical style of Jean-August Dominique Ingres….Rivera and Picasso shared an eagerness to restore through the use of line, corporal volume and clear background forms which had been lost with Cubism. Practically all the artistic circles in Paris experimented …with what art historians called ‘Le rappel à l’ordre (the return to order).’” (Diego Rivera. Art and Revolution, pp. 132-33) There are a number of these elegantly executed portraits by Rivera in existence, most of them dating from 1916 to 1920. This one is published here for the first time and was discovered in a Paris collection in 1997. Dr. Ramón Favela has examined it in person and will include it in his Diego Rivera catalogue raisonné.

Provenance:
Acquired from the artist
Armand Reclus, Paris
Élie Faure, Paris
by descent to his nephew, Andre Joubin, Paris
Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York
Private collection, New York