North America, American, Alabama
72 in. x 36 in. (182.88 cm x 91.44 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of the artist
Maltby Sykes painted "Taxco" while he was still learning his craft. The loose, painterly, wet-into-wet technique taught by one of his instructors, Wayman Adams, required a deft touch, since the forms had to be established and the colors blended quickly, before the paint began to set.
Sykes visited Taxco at least twice; he made his first visit with Adams in 1935 and his second in the spring of 1936, when he had completed the preparations for the mural project at Hotel de Reforma and was waiting for Diego Rivera to begin the actual painting. During his time in Mexico, Sykes painted portraits of a number of Mexican children; these two boys posed for him in front of a whitewashed adobe structure, dazzling in the brilliant sunlight. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts owns three other portraits of children painted by Sykes in Mexico: Brothers Rodriquez (1935), Cerillo (1935), and Conchita (1935).
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, cat. no. 89, p. 210.