The Defeat of Zipacna (from Popol Vuh)

In 1931 Rivera executed a group of drawings as illustrations for an English translation by John Weatherwax of Popul Vuh, the sacred book of the ancient Quiché Maya. This watercolor represents a scene from the legend of the hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque, in which they vanquish Zipacna, the Maker of Mountains, by luring him into a canyon with a fake crab made of stone and flowers. The translation and Rivera’s drawings were never published.

Exhibited:
Detroit, Detroit Institute of Art, Diego Rivera, A Retrospective, Feb. 10–April 27, 1986, no. 199

Literature:
Diego Rivera. Catálogo general de obra de caballete, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico, 1989, no. 996, p. 133