The Café Terrace

Diego Rivera Mexican

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.

The Café Terrace, Diego Rivera (Mexican, Guanajuato 1886–1957 Mexico City), Oil on canvas

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