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Portrait of Pita Amor
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Let’s just say this Portrait of Pita Amor by Diego Rivera is much less risqué than the other portrait he painted of her.

Guadalupe Teresa Amor Schmidtlein, aka Pita Amor, aka “the 11th Muse”, was a badass Mexican actress and dancer, but mainly a poet. Although her work has never been officially translated into English, she is one of the most important Mexican poets of the early 20th century, publishing over 25 volumes of poetry during her lifetime.

Pita Amor’s squad included lots of artists and because of her good looks they often asked her to pose for their paintings. Over time, she modeled for artists such as Juan Soriano, Raul Anguiano, Antonio Pelaez, and of course Diego Rivera.

Amor was 39 (and still lookin’ fine) when Rivera completed this portrait of her. Why she looks so surprised, NO ONE KNOWS, but this facial expression characterized her throughout her career. While Rivera emphasizes Pita’s femininity through her clothes and hairstyle, she was also known for being quite scandalous. For example, she had a reputation for showing up to formal parties wearing nothing but a mink coat, which she didn’t have a problem with taking off. She also once pulled a Janet Jackson á la 2004 Super Bowl while reciting a verse on TV. Guuuuurl.

So really it should come as no surprise that she also posed naked for Rivera for a different painting, which was a bit controversial among her aristocratic family. And Rivera, known for being a player, naturally had an affair with Amor. But rumor had it that his wife and legend Frida Kahlo also had an affair with her. Basically everyone was sleeping with everyone in this complicated family drama. On second thought, perhaps that explains her expression in the portrait.

 

Sources

Sources

  1. “Guadalupe Amor; Popular, Outrageous Mexican Poet,” LA Times, published May 15, 2000, http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/15/local/me-30365
  2. “Portrait of Pita Amor.” Google Arts and Culture, accessed Jan 21, 2018, https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/portrait-of-pita-amo...
  3. “A Conversation with Michael K. Schuessler,” C.M. Mayo, published March 2012, http://www.cmmayo.com/podcasts/TRANSCRIPTS/SCHUESSLER.html
  4. “Mexican Literature,” The Latino Author, accessed Jan 21, 2018, http://thelatinoauthor.com/countries/literature/mexican-literature/
  5. Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, Erika Cabrera, “Diego Rivera: A Biography,” accessed Jan 21, 2018, https://books.google.com/books?id=UnS6SsAEnkYC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=pita ...