Curator‘s Comments

This panel relates to Diego Rivera’s fresco program on the theme of the history of Cuernavaca and the state of Morelos, beginning with the Spanish conquest in 1521 and extending through the agrarian revolt in 1911 led by Emiliano Zapata. The mural cycle, painted in the Palacio de Cortés (now the Cuauhnahuac Museum) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, was commissioned in 1929 by Dwight W. Morrow as a gesture of friendship and remembrance of his ambassadorial mission to Mexico. The Knight of the Tiger, which shows an Aztec warrior delivering a fatal blow to an armored Spanish soldier, is based on a detail from The Battle of the Aztecs and Spaniards. It was painted by Rivera, with a number of other movable fresco panels, for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1931.

The Knight of the Tiger, after a detail from The Battle of the Aztecs and Spaniards, from the fresco cycle History of the State of Morelos, Conquest and Revolution, Palacio de Cortés, Cuernavaca (1929-1930)

Diego Rivera. Mexican, 1886–1957

The Knight of the Tiger, after a detail from The Battle of the Aztecs and Spaniards, from the fresco cycle History of the State of Morelos, Conquest and Revolution, Palacio de Cortés, Cuernavaca, 1931

Water-based paint on plaster fresco mounted on cement

Purchased with the Winthrop Hillyer Fund

ID Number: SC 1934:8-1