Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Café Terrace

Artist:
Diego Rivera (Mexican, Guanajuato 1886–1957 Mexico City)
Date:
1915
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
23 7/8 x 19 1/2 in. (60.6 x 49.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
49.70.51
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 910
In the distinct brand of Cubism that he developed while living temporarily in Paris, Rivera used small dots of color, a technique known as Pointillism, to amplify contrasts in texture and pattern. Here, the sleek bottle of green liquid, presumably absinthe, and shiny metal spoon, necessary for preparing the potent drink, are paired against a strip of camouflage tablecloth, a reference to World War I. Additionally, he includes references to his homeland, such as the cigar box with a partial label reading BENITO JUA underneath a miniature Mexican landscape. This label refers to Benito Juárez, the President of Mexico from 1858 until his death in 1872.
Inscription: Signed (lower left, with stencil): D. M. R.; signed, dated, and inscribed (verso): No. 4 LA TERRASSE/ DU CAFÉ/ Rivera. 15.
the artist (1915–16; in 1916 to de Zayas); [Modern Gallery (Marius de Zayas), New York, 1916; reserved by Stieglitz in March 1916; sold on July 19, 1916, for $117, to Stieglitz]; Alfred Stieglitz, New York (1916–d. 1946; on extended loan to Philadelphia Museum of Art, March or May 1944–January 1947; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)

Modern Gallery, New York. "Exhibition of Paintings by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Picabia, Braque, Desseignes, Rivera," February 12–March 1, 1916, no catalogue (checklist no. 20; as "The Terrrace of the Café").

Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Representative Modern Masters," April 17–May 9, 1920, no. 229 (as "Still Life").

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "History of an American, Alfred Stieglitz: '291' and After, Selections from the Stieglitz Collection," July 1–November 1, 1944, no. 123 (as "Still Life").

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Exhibition: His Collection," June 10–August 31, 1947, no catalogue (checklist no. 96).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, extended to March 7, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 38).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Cubist Epoch," December 15, 1970–February 21, 1971, no. 295.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Cubist Epoch," April 9–June 7, 1971, no. 295.

Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. "Diego Rivera," September 3–November 30, 1983, no. 24.

Phoenix Art Museum. "Diego Rivera: The Cubist Years," March 10–April 29, 1984, no. 36.

New York. IBM Gallery of Science and Art. "Diego Rivera: The Cubist Years," June 13–August 8, 1984, no. 36.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Diego Rivera: The Cubist Years," September 27–November 11, 1984, no. 36.

Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. "Diego Rivera: The Cubist Years," December 6, 1984–February 11, 1985, no. 36.

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 32).

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries," October 10, 1990–January 13, 1991, no. 313.

San Antonio Museum of Art. "Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries," April 6–August 4, 1991, no. 313.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries," October 6–December 29, 1991, no. 313.

Estación Plaza de Armas, Seville. "Artistas latinoamericanos del siglo XX," August 11–October 12, 1992, no. 3.

Paris. Centre Pompidou. "Art d'Amérique latine 1911–1968," November 12, 1992–January 11, 1993, unnumbered cat. (p. 84).

Cologne. Museum Ludwig. "Lateinamerikanische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert," February 9–April 25, 1993, unnumbered cat. (p. 58).

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century," June 2–September 7, 1993, not in catalogue (checklist p. 23).

Cleveland Museum of Art. "Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution," February 14–May 2, 1999, no. 37.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Diego Rivera: Art and Revolution," May 30–August 16, 1999, no. 37.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 38; as "Table on a Café Terrace").

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Lipchitz and the Avant-Garde: From Paris to New York," September 22, 2001–January 6, 2002, no. 15.

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 22.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 22.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Memory, Politics, Place: The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera," April 4–July 25, 2004, brochure no. 15.

Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City. "Diego Rivera y el cubismo: Memoria y vanguardia," September 19, 2004–January 16, 2005, brochure no. 15.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 32.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde," November 27, 2012–April 14, 2013, extended to Sept 2, 2013, no catalogue.

Bertram David Wolfe. Diego Rivera. Washington, D.C., 1947, p. 19, fig. 2.

Olivier Debroise. Diego de Montparnasse. Mexico, 1979, ill. between pp. 80 and 81.

Marius de Zayas. "How, When, and Why Modern Art Came to New York." Arts Magazine 54 (April 1980), p. 119, fig. 108.

Manuel Reyero. Diego Rivera. Mexico, 1983, p. 36, pl. 42.

Kay Larson. "The Met Goes Modern: Bill Lieberman's Brave New Wing." New York Magazine 19 (December 15, 1986), p. 47, calls it "Table on a Cafe Terrace".

Marius de Zayas. How, When, and Why Modern Art Came to New York. Ed. Francis M. Naumann. Cambridge, Mass., 1996, pp. 103, 139, fig. 108.

Joanne Klaar Walker in Diego Rivera: The Cubist Portraits. Exh. cat., Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. London, 2009, pp. 126, 134 nn. 12, 13.

Lisa Mintz Messinger in Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 60–61, 251, no. 32, ill. pp. 61 (color), 251 (color, recto and verso).



Upside down on the reverse of this painting is an earlier composition (ca. 1911–13?) of two figures in a landscape. After the canvas was restretched for "The Café Terrace," Rivera painted over the sections of the earlier composition that were visible between the stretcher bars with an opaque paint [for an illustration, see Ref. Messinger 2011, p. 251]
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