1. Diego Rivera was one of Mexico's most important painters and a major artist of the twentieth century.
2. He was born in 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico. 3. He had a twin brother, but his brother died when he was only a year and a half old. 4. When he was six years old Diego's family
moved to Mexico City.
5. Diego loved to draw and his father made a studio for him by covering the walls with
black canvas on which he could draw with chalk. 6. He loved drawing soldiers, but he was not destined to be a soldier.
7. He was sent to military school at age 10, but only stayed for a short time. 8. He enrolled in evening art classes at the San Carlos Academy of Fine
Arts in Mexico City.
9. He studied there for five years, but was later expelled for participating in student revolts at the
school. 10. These experiences were only the beginning of the controversy which would surround Rivera throughout his life. 11. At age 16 he left and started his career as a
painter. 12. The wall in front of Diego Rivera's home in Acapulco, Mexico is decorated with mosaics in bright colors.
13. Rivera combined this classical training with the influence of Mexican folk artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, emerging as an accomplished painter with a distinctly Mexican
style by the age of sixteen.
14. "Rivera believed that art should play a role in empowering working
people to understand their own histories." 15. In 1907 Rivera traveled to Spain to study the works of other artists at Madrid's El Prado museum.
16. Later he moved to Paris and became fascinated with the Cubist movement which Pablo Picasso founded. 17. After four years devoted to Cubism,
Rivera began to question the movement. 18. In 1911 Diego married, Angelina, a Russian artist he met in London. 19. During World War I money was scarce and
they barely made a living. 20. They had a son, but he died when he was very young and the couple separated.
21. Influenced by the Mexican Revolution in 1914 and 1915 and the Russian Revolution in 1917, Rivera believed that art should play a role in empowering working people to understand their own histories.
22. He did not want his art to be isolated in museums and galleries, but made accessible to the people, spread on the walls of public
buildings. 23. Rivera traveled to Italy to study early Renaissance fresco. 24. When he returned to Mexico, he was ready to create his own style of public paintings that
would speak directly to the working and indigenous peoples of Mexico.
25. The opportunity to
implement his new ideas came in 1921, when a new cultural program was instituted to bring art to the masses. 26. In 1922 he married Lupe Marin and they had two daughters. Five years later they
27. The Mexican government Rivera and other artist to paint a series of fresco cycles
for public buildings, instigating what became known as the Mexican Mural Renaissance.
28. These great artists
painted on the walls of public buildings across Mexico. 29. Their works represented complex social and national themes, religion, and a pre-Hispanic world view.
30. When political repression intensified in Mexico in the late twenties, Rivera wanted to paint in the United States. 31. In 1930 Diego visited San Francisco. He was extremely well-received
32. Diego married Frida Kahlo, a young artist in Mexico. She was seriously injured in a
bus accident and spent months in recovery. It was a stormy relationship. They divorced and then remarried.
33. Shortly before her
death her art was exhibited in Mexico City. The doctor told her not to leave her bed, so she had the bed, with her in it, delivered to the exhibition. 34. In 1929, he became director of the Academy
of San Carlos. 35. He is noted for the murals he painted on the walls of buildings. 36. Rivera and his family returned to San Francisco in 1940 to create the Pan
American Unity mural for the Golden Gate International Exposition.
37. He also painted murals for Ford Motor
plant in Detroit. 38. This work represented with hundreds of murals painted for the public, and demonstrated his love for San Francisco.
39. Besides being a celebrated and controversial artist, Diego Rivera was also an influential political activist who influenced debates not only in Mexico, but also in the USA and Soviet Union.
40. Rivera was a large man, over 6 feet talk and weighed about 300 pounds. 41. After Fridaâ€™s death he
married Emma Hurtada, was his art dealer.
42. Diego suffered with cancer and then had a stroke. His right hard
became paralyzed and he continued to pain with his left hand. 43. He died of heart failure in 1957 at the age of seventy-one. 44. Since his death, his hundreds of public
artworks, his many oils and watercolors, and his political daring continue to contribute to the development of public art across the Americas.
45. Linda Downs from the National Gallery of Art said "The public persona of Diego Rivera...was such that the artist became a myth in his own lifetime."