The Mexican Revolution, a civil war that raged from 1910 to 1920, ousted the hated dictator Porfirio Díaz, creating a new era with the government being in the hands of the people.
Out of this revolution the Muralism Movement grew. These publicly-funded murals were painted with the theory that by making ‘educational’ art available to everyone, they had the power to transform society.
One of the best-known muralists was Diego Rivera (although he is possibly better known as the husband of Frida Kahlo). Recognized as a talented artist from age 10 on he managed to study in Europe in 1907, working both in Spain and Paris where many leading artists of the modern era were gathering. Returning to Mexico in 1921 he benefited from the massive outlay of government money for huge frescos depicting revolutionary ideals.
Where to see Diego Rivera in Mexico City.
Secretaría de Educación Pública.
Some of his earliest murals were for the Secretaría de Educación Pública. This one, of over 120 murals, is of women washing and drying clothing, a homely scene typical of his earlier works.
Diego often put a portrait of himself, and sometimes of his wife Frida, in many of his murals.
The National Palace
(Free but you need to surrender photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license, one per group.)
Mural of the history of Mexico by the famous muralist Diego Rivera in in the National Palace in Mexico City.This is a close up of one tiny piece of this mural, showing the Mayan using cocoa beans to buy corn.
Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Murals by Rivera on an upper floor in the Palacio de Bellas Artes include a 1936 fresco mural by Diego Rivera called ‘Carnival of Mexican Life’ (Carnaval de la vida mexicana).
Museo Mural Diego Rivera.
The small Museo Mural Diego Rivera primarily contains a large 45-foot-long mural rescued from a hotel that was severely damaged in the 1985 earthquake. The mural is called ‘Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park’. I was there years ago and we weren’t allowed to take photos at the time so this image is courtesy of Wikipedia.At the far left of the map is the small Museo Mural Diego Rivera, containing the large mural called ‘Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park’. The green area directly to the right of the museum is Alameda Park, something to stroll through either before or after you go to the museum. At the other end of the Alameda Park is the Palacio de Bellas Artes (with faint blue text), which has significant Rivera murals on the second floor. The Secretaria de Educación Public is near the top on the right and at the far right in the middle is the Palacio Nacional (grey text).
Much less known is Fuente de Tlaloc, a Bosque de Chapultepec II Sección (in the park), a fountain and waterworks feature designed by Diego Rivera.
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.
A lacuna is an ‘absence’ or missing part. In this novel it denotes an underwater cave similar to a cenote, located on an island somewhere off the Yucatán coast where a lonely boy spends his time diving into this hidden world, and befriending the cook who teaches him his fine pastry skills. Later he is whisked to Mexico City by his mother who is in search of a rich lover, Mr. Cash. There the boy’s pastry skills come into play as he finds himself as an apprentice plaster mixer for Diego Rivera’s murals, the plaster process just like making dough for pan dulce. He joins Frida and Diego’s unconventional household as a cook and typist, where he stays until Trotsky is assassinated, and America begins a witch hunt for Communists. The story is told mostly from the point of view of an observer of life and fame from the late 1920s to the 50s in both America and Mexico.
- Tripsavvy has an even more comprehensive list with their article ‘Discover Frida and Diego in Mexico City‘.
- More of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ‘Mural’.
What great artistic murals you were able to capture. 😀
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