Torso of a Woman: Study for the "Liberated Earth with Natural Forces Controlled by Man" Mural at the Escuela Nacional de Agricultura (now the Universidad Autónoma), Chapingo, Mexico

José Diego María Rivera, Mexican, 1886 - 1957


Black chalk on light brown laid paper

Sheet: 19 1/16 × 24 13/16 inches (48.4 × 63 cm)

© 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund from the Carl and Laura Zigrosser Collection, 1976

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Diego Rivera was something of a prodigy, having established many of his passionate lifelong interests---Mexican folk art, history, landscape, and popular customs---by the age of twelve. Academically trained, he spent most of the time from 1907 to 1921 painting in Europe, slowly evolving through a remarkable Cubist phase to arrive at his mature "classical" style, with which he began in 1922 a thirty-year career in Mexico and the United States as one of the most important muralists of the twentieth century. Rivera was determined to put his art at the service of his revolutionary ideals. The fresco for which this robust and powerful torso is a study was executed in 1926-27 at the national agricultural school near Mexico City. The enormous nude female figure reclining on bare brown earth with one hand upraised in a gesture of benediction and the other holding a budding plant represents the liberated Earth with its natural forces controlled by man part of a complex decorative program that parallels gestation and growth in nature with social revolution in human history. Ann Percy from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 242.