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Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera biography & paintings. Information about the famous Mexican painter Diego Rivera such as Mexican muralism & Mexican modern art.

Diego Rivera's art was one of the columns on which one of the strongest movements in American painting was to find support: Mexican muralism. His art greatly depends on a vocabulary born from a mixture between Gauguin and Aztec and Mayan sculpture.

Diego Rivera, using simplified forms and vivid colours, brilliantly rescued the pre-Colombian past, as well as the cornerstones of Mexico's history: the land, the factory and land workers, the customs and the popular way of life. Diego Rivera's contribution to modern Mexican art was decisive in murals; he was a revolutionary painter who wanted to take art to a wider audience, to the street and buildings, using a precise and direct language with a realistic style, full of social meaning.

It was always Rivera's ambition to artistically depict the events, ideas and hopes of the Mexican Revolution. To find an suitable method to accomplish this, he tried the fresco technique, which consists of painting directly on a wet mixture of sand and lime, to help the colour to penetrate and be fixed when the mixture dries.

The murals that Rivera painted in Mexico made him so famous that he became not only the leader of a painting movement, but also a political leader. His activities in the latter field placed him at the centre of several controversies and adventures, such as when the Hotel del Prado in Mexico City refused to show a large fresco that bore the words "Dios no existe" ("God does not exist"), which Diego, in turn, refused to erase, until he finally gave up, returning from a trip to the Soviet Union in 1956 because of health problems. Diego Rivera was a member of the Communist Party from 1923 to 1930, and from 1954 until his death.

Rivera exhibited his paintings in Madrid and Paris.