This is a scarce, even rare work in watercolor, pencil and I think gouache, 17 5/8" by 11 1/4" (24 1/2" by 18 3/4" as framed) signed at lower right and dated there 1937 by painter and sculptor Angelina Beloff (1884-1969). The scene is inscribed "Jalapa"---corresponding to the colonial highlands city in southeastern Mexico on the main road between Mexico City and the coastal city of Vera Cruz. Beloff was a talented Russian-born artist, her oils selling today at Sotheby's Latin American Art auctions for thousands of dollars, but it is perhaps for her long and tortured relationship with the famous artist Diego Rivera for which she is most commonly remembered. Beloff met Rivera in Spain or Belgium (I've read both, in online biographies) in about 1909, (at which time he painted her portrait--see image), and her relationship with him lasted on and off until 1921. In 1917, when Rivera was at the height of his cubist period, Beloff, as his common law wife, bore him a son, Diego Jr., who survived for only about one year. Shortly after the death of the child, possibly in the 1918 worldwide influenza epidemic, the temperamental and restless Rivera took up with Marie Vorobieff, known as Marevna, a Russian artist, and she bore him a child as well. Despite the dallyances, Rivera however continued to maintain some kind of relationship with Beloff until the year 1921, when he left Paris and told her he would send for her once he was established in Mexico. He never did, and commented later, "She (Beloff) gave me everything a woman can give to a man. In return, she received from me all the heartache and misery that a man can inflict upon a woman". Beloff was thereafter able to support herself though her art, teaching sculpture, which she had studied while young. This drawing is apparently in excellent condition with no foxing nor water damage. The framing is modern. It was purchased in Palm Springs, bears a Rancho Mirage framing label, and was acquired by me without a provenance. See the net for much more information on the very interesting life of this woman. .
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