Start Collecting Diego Rivera Original Paintings

Want to get started collecting Diego Rivera original paintings? An important but approachable original painting is for sale by Heritage Auctions, on May 21, 2020.

Famous for his towering murals and troubled marriage to Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera changed the course of art history. Now you have the opportunity to start collecting Diego Rivera original paintings at an affordable price.

Diego Rivera Original Painting for Sale

An important but approachable Diego Rivera original painting for sale. Best known for his political and historical murals, this work is featured at Heritage Auctions’ May 21, 2020, Modern & Contemporary Art auction.

Mujer con petate (Woman with Duffel Bag)
Pencil and watercolor on rice paper
15-3/8 x 10-3/4 inches (39.1 x 27.3 cm) (sheet)
Inscribed and signed lower right: Para Chapua / Diego Rivera

How Much are Diego Rivera Original Paintings?

Rivera commands a wide range of prices. Last year, Rivera’s The Rivals sold for $9.76 million at another auction house. His exceptional watercolor on rice paper, Velorio sold for $40,000 at Heritage in 2015. Typically, his original paintings achieve between $10,000 and $15,000.


But works on paper are available at more accessible price points. Heritage sold Rivera’s preparatory ink sketch on paper, Glassblower for just under $3,000 in 2004.

diego glass blower

These approachable prices make his work desirable for collectors. Rivera’s upcoming painting, Mujer con petate, will be more accessible than his more famous paintings, but it is just as much a part of his oeuvre.

What are the Most Expensive Diego Rivera Paintings?

Rivera’s paintings can sell for millions of dollars but preparatory works, like Mujer con petate, are more affordable. Heritage sold Rivera’s Velorio for $40,000 at a 2015 Modern & Contemporary Art auction. The work is highly desirable for its subject matter, medium and condition. As the title suggests, Velorio represents a woman in mourning. She faces away from the viewer and buries her face in her hands, so she appears mysterious. The grave is defined by pale rose petals and candles at each corner. As a watercolor on rice paper, the painting is both confident and spontaneous. The woman’s black shroud defies the gaze of the viewer, for example, but her hands are exposed and they betray her emotion. The piece was sold in good condition, with slight rippling to be expected from the rice paper.

Where Can You Buy Original Diego Rivera Paintings?

Heritage is offering Mujer con petate (Woman with Duffel Bag), Rivera’s pencil and watercolor work on rice paper in our May 21 Modern & Contemporary Art auction.

Mujer con petate has the economy of preparatory work like Rivera’s Glassblower, but it also has the ambition of a finished work like Velorio. Mujer con petate features a mysterious woman with most of her body hidden from view,. The figure wears a tunic with long sleeves and a long skirt. She bears the weight of a duffel bag, larger than her own body, from a strap around her neck and shoulders. Together, Mujer con petate and Velorio show Rivera’s practice in real-time, from beginning to end. This upcoming painting

How to Value an Original Diego Rivera Painting?

The value of an original Rivera painting depends on its style, medium, and dimensions. Rivera was a master of figurative painting so works like Velorio and Mujer con petate are highly sought after, even as they obscure their figures. Rivera combined different media, like pen and watercolor in the case of Mujer con petate, and he worked on unusual substrates like rice paper. The dimensions impact the value as well. Larger works match the scale of Rivera’s colossal murals as well as his stature in art history, so bigger is better. Mujer con petate is well-sized at 15-3/8 x 10-3/4 inches (39.1 x 27.3 cm).

Do Diego Rivera Paintings Appreciate in Value?

Rivera continues to gain the recognition he deserves and his market reflects that. His El Albañil was first valued at $800,000 to $1 million in 2012 but revalued at between $1.2 million and $2.2 million as of July 2018. Collectors and curators alike recognize Rivera’s role in the global modernist movement and his focus on the human form was decades ahead of its time. Rivera’s paintings are time capsules of the early twentieth century but they feel contemporary as well. The government of Mexico officially recognizes his work as national patrimony. As Rivera’s paintings increase in stature, their value appreciates.

Follow Artist Diego Rivera

Diego River’s original paintings cover a wide range of value, style, and medium. As Rivera gains the recognition he deserves, it is important to follow works like Mujer con petate while they are still on the market. This exciting lot provides a window into Rivera’s creative process. As a preparatory work, its art-historical importance is met with more approachable prices.

Learn more – Read the bio, save a want list, view past sales of Diego Rivera original paintings for sale.

Posted by Heritage Editorial

This article was written as a collaborative effort by multiple experts within the category at Heritage Auctions.

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