María Félix as Inspiration

One of the chapters in my book on María Félix considers the works about her or inspired by her. These are many and varied. Some were commissioned by Félix and some were inspired by her. Of the latter, not all were positive.

Félix moved amongst the lively and prodigious artistic and creative circles of Twentieth century Mexico. She had close friendships and long-lasting romantic relationships with many artists, writers, and songwriters, some of whom wrote novels, dramas, songs or painted portraits of her in a variety of styles. These works give an insight into the complex intertwining of the performance, literary, and visual arts in Mexico and demonstrate how she acted as a benefactor to a range of artists including, Leonor Fini, Diego Rivera, Leonora Carrington, Stanislao Lèpri, Bridget Tichenor, Chavez Marion, and Antoine Tzapoff. Her life and works also proved inspiration for songwriters and novelists as varied as Agustín Lara, Frances Cabrel, Juan Gabriel, Carlos Fuentes, Luis Spota, Renato Leduc, Octavio Paz, and Pita Amor.

One way of looking closely at her home and space is an interview with Iván Trujillo for the UNAM Filmoteca in her home in which she spoke about and showed some of the works.

Interview with Iván Trujillo

Other useful sources are auction house sites and videos by news agencies of some of her possessions being auctioned by her estate. This one even has a helpful transcript:

It is also possible to look through all of the objects sold at auction on the 21st of July 2015, see their individual prices, and peruse high quality photos of her collection. It is also possible to look through the categories of item. I am most interested in the paintings (23) and a photograph (1). Of these, all but two are portraits. The sum total of the sale was $7,299,640 USD, which gives some sense of her eye as a collector of objet d’art and of the value of her collection because it was hers.

There is a new website entitled the estate of María Félix has some useful detail and overview of her life, work and the objects that she acquired as part of her collection. It is dated 2020 and the English reads as translationese, but is legible. I could speculate that it’s related to the announced film project on Félix’s life. But, I don’t know that yet.

As travel is limited and most of these are in private collections, it is not possible to see these in person. But, such auction houses take such high quality images that can be correlated with the interviews in her house that give great material for analysis and discussion.

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