Diego Rivera Biography

How Mexican Art Lives in Diego Rivera’s Prints

Name: Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez .
Birth date: December 8, 1886. Died in November 4, 1957.
Birthplace: Guanajuato, Mexico.
Breakthrough: Going to study painting in Spain with a sponsorship of the Veracruz Governor.

This Diego Rivera biography shows the life of a well to do boy who fell in love with socialism and painting. He grew up as Spanish nobility. He had an identical twin brother, Carlos, who unfortunately died at the age of 2.

Belonging to a well to do family, Rivera had the means to study at the highly acclaimed arts school Academy of San Carlos located in the city of Mexico.

His instruction started when he was just 10 years old. He continued his studies and went to Europe under the sponsorship of Veracruz Governor Teodoro A. Dehesa Mendez.

He lived and study in several countries in Europe from 1907 to 1922. Any Diego Rivera biography tells you he spent much of his early life in places like Paris and Madrid learning everything about the world of art.

In the 1920s, Diego Rivera left France to study the art scene in Italy. After gaining insight and skill for Renaissance art pieces, he returned to Mexico a year after.  Most of his work while he lived in Europe reflects Synthetic Cubism, on the other hand, he admired the frescoes of the Quattrocento, especially Giotto’s work.

He comes back to Mexico in 1922 and starts studying the Maya and Aztec art which deeply influenced his work later on.  Rivera created the Sindicato de Pintores or Painters Union with prominent artists like Siqueiros and Orozco, this union gave birth to the Mexican Muralist Movement.

One of the most popular Diego Rivera murals’ was made in Mexico, it is called “Creation” and it is on the walls of the Bolivar Auditorium at the National Preparatory School of Mexico City.

Diego Rivera’s artwork evolved. From the time span of 1922 to 1928, he made 124 frescoes as murals in the Secretariat of Public Education.  Always close to his socialists believes, Rivera was one of the founders of El Partido Comunista Mexicano. He started using bold colors and the figures of the artwork were large and simplified.

He visited Russia in 1927 to 1928. As one Diego Rivera biography continues to relate, he also did a lot of work abroad in cities like Moscow for the celebration of the October Revolution, and also painted a mural for Moscow’s Red Army Club.

A year after he was expelled from the Mexican Communist Party, he divorced Guadalupe Marin and married Frida Kahlo.

He continued on making murals and frescoes throughout his life, and some of his work is part of great museum collections today like the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in Great Britain, Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azul) in Mexico City, Harvard University Art Museums in Massachusetts, São Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in Iran.

During the 1930s Diego traveled to the U.S. where he portrayed the industrial era, he also made frescoes and murals in cities like San Francisco, Detroit and New York.  In New York City at the Rockefeller center, in 1933, he painted a mural that after finished it was destroyed by Rockefeller’s orders because it depicted socialists contents.

Diego Rivera Prints and Books

Diego Rivera art prints are one of the best ways to have a piece of the artist and be inspired any time you enjoy seeing one of them. These prints are smaller copies of the
originals and can even have his autograph on it.

I was amazed when I found out you can have his art printed on a shirt. If you like walking around wearing art, Diego Rivera print jerseys are available also.

Although many of his artwork has been moved out of its original place (some are even totally removed), you can still have a copy of it for your own personal pleasure by owning a Diego Rivera Print.

Diego Rivera died of heart failure three years after Frida Khalo. Apparently he never recovered from her death. He continued to paint even though he was very weak. He even re-married.

Rivera’s work influenced deeply muralists, specially in the United States who started to generate public artwork with a conscience. He is one of the most acclaimed  muralists in the world.

Graphic Feast of Diego Rivera’s Murals at the Palacio Nacional of Mexico


The Legend of Quetzalcoatl Palacio Nacional of Mexico
by Mary Ann Sullivan



Class Struggle, Palacio Nacional de Mexico
by Mary Ann Sullivan



The Grand Tenochtitlán, Palacio Nacional de Mexico
by Mary Ann Sullivan



The Arrival of Cortés, Palacio Nacional de Mexico
by Mary Ann Sullivan

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