Diego Rivera’s rarely seen self-portrait asks for more than $1 million
Christie’s Latin American Sale in New York on May 28 and 29 is set to feature rare and iconic masterpieces from the 17th century colonial art to contemporary paintings. Leading the sale is a self-portrait by famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957), which is expected to sell for between $1.2 million and $1.8 million. Also known as “The Firestone Self-Portrait,” this self portrait was commissioned from the artist by Sigmund Firestone, an American engineer and art collector from Rochester. Firestone met Rivera and his wife Frida Kahlo on a business trip to Mexico in 1939. The painting was commissioned in 1940 and was completed in 1941. Interestingly, Rivera has painted himself nearly 20 times between 1906 and 1951. In the Firestone portrait, the artist is shown with a mature self-consciousness and he holds a note that reads “To my dear friend /Sigmund Firestone /Diego Rivera /January 1, 1941”. Fourteen letters, which were exchanged between Rivera, Kahlo and Firestone will be sold along with the portrait. Christie’s believes that this rarely seen self-portrait by Diego Rivera will tempt a bidder to pay more than $1 million.