María Izquierdo and the Female Face of National Identity

Proclaimed by Pablo Neruda ‘perhaps the greatest of all Mexican painters’, María Izquierdo was born in 1902 in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco. She was active at a time when Muralists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco (also known as ‘los tres grandes’ or ‘the three great ones’) were putting forward a view of Mexican art that was largely concerned with establishing an idea of the male, socialist hero and class struggle as the epitome of mexicanidad (Mexican-ness). This term designates that particular essence of Mexican…