His Most Famous Painting (Tres Personajes – Three People) – Rufino Tamayo


“Tres Personajes (Three People),” a masterpiece by famous Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, was created in the year 1970. Amongst many of his other famous creations, Rufino named it strangely different. Driven by a fantastic and powerful artistic capture, “Tres Personajes (Three People)” is a viewer’s delight. This masterpiece of ‘Abstract Art’ shows three people, a man, a woman, and a child, as the key subjects and therefore the name. The vibrant shades of purple, orange, and yellow have been used that add splendor to the canvass. The painting is a concrete proof of Tamayo’s creative mastery and his command over color combinations. The brightly colored canvass has an inherent miraculous glow.

A Huston, Texas, resident bought Rufino’s “Tres Personajes (Three People)” painting in 1977, as a memorable gift for his loving wife. After 10 years however, it disappeared from the couple’s storage locker in a mysterious way. Luckily, before being declared lost and forgotten, a woman, Elizabeth Gibson, found it in the year 2003, on a street of Manhattan, in garbage. The colorful oil on canvas was striking enough to catch attention at the first glance itself. Though, she was least informed about Modern Art and painting, still she carried back the 38″X51″ piece to her crammed apartment. In effect, Elizabeth unknowingly extended a great favor to the global art industry. Without even having a slightest idea of its origin or market value, she was glad to possess it.

Gibson did not have to wait for long for the painting to show its lucky charm. After four year, she came to know from a PBS website that this painting had been featured on an episode of Antiques Roadshow. After reading more about the missing “Tres Personajes (Three People),” Elizabeth and the first owner decided to sell the painting at a Sotheby’s auction, which is one of the oldest operating auction houses. Finally, in November 2007, Elizabeth received a $15,000 reward plus a portion of the $1,049,000 auction sales price.

Irrespective of its monetary value, “Tres Personajes (Three People)” remains priceless, extending a high altar of aesthetic creativity. Today, art lovers remember Rufino Tamayo with deep veneration. Nobel Prize winning poet Octavio Paz has rightfully said, “If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters, I would say without a moment’s hesitation: Sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not.”

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