North America, American, Alabama
45 3/8 in. x 30 1/4 in. (115.25 cm x 76.84 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of the artist
As a young artist, painter/printmaker Maltby Sykes worked in Mexico as an assistant to the Mexican Muralist Diego Rivera on the mural project for the Hotel de Reforma. When work on the mural was delayed for a time, Sykes convinced Rivera to sit for this portrait. The artist was suffering from a serious eye infection, the effects of which are visible in the portrait. Sykes later wrote, "He did not look at the portrait until the end of the last sitting when he studied it for awile and said, 'I like your portrait better than Modiliani's because it has something going on in the head.'"
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, cat. no. 88, p. 208.