Angelina Beloff captures the sympathy of the reader. She represents women artists of the 1920’s; she is struggling for her place in modern art. From Pablo Picasso, she learns about the possibilities of playing with lines instead of copying directly from reality. At first, she paints representationally, gradually moving to embrace the abstract style of cubism. This shift in Quiela’s aesthetic coincides with her increasing emotional distance from Diego Rivera. In a way, being alone in Paris helps her to achieve a self-affirmation in her art.
Diego Rivera, the lover for whom Quiela cries and the famous painter who is developing a new Mexican art, is a womanizer who takes up with the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo while Quiela still waits for him in Paris. Rivera is portrayed through the writings of Quiela, and readers do not really have any account of him directly. This fact limits the appreciation of his actions and makes the reader accuse him of neglecting his lover all alone by herself in Paris. One possible interpretation of these actions could be that he is letting her alone so that she can grow as an artist and develop without depending on him. This interpretation, however, is not the best one; rather, Rivera stands for the macho male who thinks that women cannot live without him.