MoMA
José Clemente Orozco. Zapatistas. 1931
José Clemente Orozco

Zapatistas

1931
Not on view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
45 x 55" (114.3 x 139.7 cm)
Credit
Given anonymously
Object number
470.1937
Copyright
© 2015 José Clemente Orozco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico

In the late 1920s and 1930s Mexico's most famous muralists, Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—known as Los tres grandes (The Big Three)—spent significant time living and working in the United States. Although their styles differed dramatically, the slain revolutionary peasant leader Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919) figures prominently in their work. Unlike Rivera, who always took a celebratory approach in representing Zapata and his supporters, in this painting Orozco depicts a somber moment in the Mexican Revolution as Zapatistas—Zapata's followers—march toward their death. "I don’t trust revolutions or glorify them since I witnessed too much butchery," Orozco later remarked. His trademark palette, dominated by blacks and earthy reds, underscores the violent nature of the subject matter and echoes the colors in the political caricatures he made early in his career for revolutionary journals.

Gallery label from 2009
Additional text

The slain revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919) figures prominently in the work of Mexican artists of the 1920s and 1930s. In this painting Orozco depicts a somber moment in the Mexican Revolution, as Zapatistas—Zapata's peasant followers—march to their deaths. "I don't trust revolutions or glorify them, since I witnessed too much butchery," Orozco later remarked, referring to his experience in the Revolution. His trademark palette, dominated by blacks and earthy reds, underscores the violent nature of the subject matter and echoes the colors in the political caricatures he made for revolutionary journals early in his career.

Gallery label from 2011
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Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource