It’s the end of the summer, and beach-going accessories are all on sale. I wasn’t looking for a beach towel when I was shopping at a local discount store a few days ago, but this one caught my eye.
It wasn’t just the low, low price (2 for $10!) that made me stop—it was the image of a kneeling nude woman embracing an arrangement of oversized calla lilies. I snapped a photo, and as soon as I got home I did a quick search that confirmed my hunch.
Yes, the manufacturers of the towel had printed up a direct (if cropped) copy of Nude with Calla Lilies by the Mexican painter Diego Rivera. The original painting dates to 1944. I don’t know enough about Rivera to say for certain whether his wife, artist Frida Kahlo, posed for this work, but the model certainly looks Kahloesque.
Now I’m wondering. . . . did people purchase this towel because they recognized Rivera’s style, or just because they liked the imagery? Again, I’m not a Rivera expert, but I like to think that he’d be even more pleased by the latter explanation.
Images: street photo by Tinsel Creation; Diego Rivera, Nude with Calla Lilies (1944) via Wikipaintings.