Diego Rivera MMoCA Collects

El sueño (La Noche de los Pobres)

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Diego Rivera, El sueño (La Noche de los Pobres), 1932, Lithograph.
Diego Rivera with a xoloitzcuintle dog in the Blue House, Coyoacán. Public Domain.

Diego Rivera produced a series of lithographs that were published by the Weyhe Gallery in New York City. The gallery’s goal was to make Rivera’s work more widely available to collectors in North America. Rivera executed El Sueño (The Dream) at the time of his historic solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This lithograph is a detail from the lower section of a fresco that Rivera executed in 1928 for one of the courtyards of the Secretaría de Educacion Pública in Mexico City. Titled La Noche de los Pobres (The Night of the Poor), it is joined to La Noche de los Ricos (The Night of the Rich), another fresco, to form a diptych. Together these two contrasting frescoes argue for revolution as the only means to correct social injustice. The isolated detail in the lithograph frames a cluster of peasant women with their children, a man, and a dog—all fast asleep. They are not sheltered but huddled together in the open air for warmth during a cold night. It is a tender and poignant scene. With a lithographic crayon, Rivera creates a finely wrought drawing that is a compassionate image of the disenfranchised.