While visiting the murals in the National Palace in Mexico City, I became spellbound by the amount of information that the artist Diego Rivera put in his murals. I was amazed by the intensity of this prolific genius. Having researched the life and times of Diego Rivera has helped me understand the mentality of this great artist as well as the complexity of Mexican history. Through River’s works, one can study the history of Mexico. Rivera used facts of archaeological discovery and history to penetrate his subjects. Diego’s life was fascinating. His many diverse experiences gave him the intensity so expressed in his murals. His murals have childhood representations as well as amorous ones.
Rivera was inspired by Cezanne, a crumbling wall in Italy, and his people. Yet, he was looking for a new form that was completely Mexican while at the same time being for all the people. Through his murals, Diego Rivera was able to fulfill his dreams. Rivera also painted in the U.S. His “Portrait of America” in New York City was removed when he refused to substitute the profile of Lenin with that of an unknown.
This unit has been prepared for middle- or high-school Spanish, art, ESOL, and history classes. Its purpose is to enlighten the educator as well as the students to the richness and color of the Mexican culture as well as to the legacy that Diego Rivera left.
(Recommended for Spanish I-IV, History, Art, and ESOL classes, grades 7-12)
History Through Art Diego Rivera General Language Instruction Spanish