Rivera, who studied at San Carlos School of Art in Mexico City, initially leaned traditional classical painting in Spain, but later moved to Paris, the center of European modern art, and joined Cubism, the leading movement in avant-garde art, through association with Picasso and Modigliani.
"Spanish Landscape, Toledo" is a work produced when Rivera had just started to study Cubism. In front of the Spanish land that reminds him of his home country, Rivera painted rugged rocks and smooth hills, reducing them to simple and geometrical figures. However, there still remains a trace of literal description in the portion of the distant view at the upper right of the canvas. The harmony of the bright pastel colors that express the glittering of the sunshine reflecting on the surface of the river running through a ravine is beautiful. Unlike the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, who emphasized formativeness and gradually eliminated colors from their paintings, Rivera's Cubism never lost its bright and vivid colors. Rivera's Cubism phase lasted only 5 years, but his mosaic screen configuration, with its established simple figures and numerous colors, is the biggest feature of the mural painting that fills a vast mural painting space.
(Source: Selected Works from the Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum, 1998, P. 51.)