Commercial Chemical Operations

This charcoal piece is a sketch for one of the main panels of the Detroit Industry mural. Located in the eponymous city’s Institute of Art, the mural depicts both the specific industrial advances of the Ford Motor Company and the more general development of industry over time and space. Here we can see Rivera’s attention to detail and careful planning – while the individual identities of the figures are indistinct, the broader composition is clear. In fact, the sketch has a mesmerizing quality to it, with broad, sweeping lines in the center echoing the sensuous curves of a Spanish guitar.

Creator: Diego Rivera

Date: 1932

Original Medium: charcoal on paper

Original Size: 99 3/4 x 86 3/4 in.

Location: Detroit Institute of Arts