Diego Rivera Prints

Diego Rivera Prints

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Diego Rivera - Mexican Hero

Born in Mexico, Diego Rivera is considered one of the greatest Mexican painters of the twentieth century due to the profound effect he had on the international art world. Among his many contributions, Rivera is credited with the reintroduction of fresco painting into modern art and architecture. In a series of visits to America, the artist brought his unique vision to public spaces and galleries, inspiring artists and art lovers. Diego Rivera was fond of propaganda. In Mexico, he painted public murals depicting revolutionary politics, and he attempted to convey the dream of a socialist utopia to the people of Mexico. His work rendered him one of Latin America's most intriguing artists.

Rise to fame
Through public art projects, Rivera was able to introduce his work in the everyday life of the people. He concerned himself primarily with the physical process of human development and the effects of technological progress. Throughout the 1920s, his fame grew with a number of large murals depicting scenes from Mexican history. His work appealed to the people’s interests and his popularity quickly spread.

Diego Rivera - Baile en Tehauntepec

In America
In 1930, Rivera’s many trips to the United States changed American painting. His first two major American commissions were the American Stock Exchange Luncheon Club and the California School of Fine Arts, which firmly but subtly incorporated Rivera’s radical politics. He believed that history could be depicted in art by representing the struggles of the working class.

Controversy in art
In a Rockefeller commission, Rivera painted a mural detailing a scene of a giant May Day demonstration of workers marching with red banners. Patrons were shocked by the portrait of Lenin leading the demonstration. When Rivera refused to remove the portrait, he was ordered to stop work and the painting was destroyed. Subsequently, Rivera found it difficult to secure commissions for murals, even in his home country. The dedication to his cause made him a favorite among common people who embraced ‘Diego Rivera Mexican Hero’.

Return to Mexico
When Rivera returned to Mexico, he sought to renew national art based on revolutionary themes that would adorn public buildings following the Mexican Revolution. He painted murals for the Preparatory School and the Ministry of Education in Mexico City and the Agricultural School of Chapingo. These huge frescoes depict the realistic lives of the Mexican people in the field of industry, agriculture, and culture. They also reflect the often-forgotten native people.

Diego Rivera Mexican Hero
Diego Rivera's talent for historical murals and his tributes to the people made him one of the most influential artists in the Americas and one of Mexico's most beloved painters. While in Europe, he was influenced by the paintings of El Greco and Goya. He had close ties with Cézanne, Picasso, and with communistic Russians in exile. He was convinced that a new form of art should respond to “the new order of things … and that the logical place for this art … belonging to the populace, was on the walls of public buildings.” To simple peasants and workers, he was viewed as a prophet. He painted numerous government buildings in Mexico, as well as many buildings in the United States. Diego Rivera remained a central force in the development of a national art in Mexico throughout his life, until his death at the age of seventy.

This article was written by Betty Botis
Betty Botis is an avid art collector and fan of all Diego Rivera's art. She is also a freelance writer for Diego Rivera Prints.



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