Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera and his twin brother, Carlos, were born in 1886 in the mountains of Mexico. Rivera’s parents helped poor people live better lives. This helped shaped the way Rivera painted.

Rivera began to draw when he was only three years old. He drew on everything: floors, furniture, walls, and paper. He loved to draw huge pictures on walls (murals) so his parents covered his bedroom walls with paper.

When he was 10, Rivera began to use paints. He took art classes after school. It wasn’t long before he decided to become a painter.

Rivera studied art at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts where he learned about the art of the Mexican Indians. He loved their paintings of people at work and Rivera began painting similar subjects. Rivera also learned from a teacher who enjoyed painting the differences between rich people and poor people.

He then went to study in Europe, first in Spain, then Paris. He made friends with many important artists. At this time, cubism was a growing style. Rivera painted some cubist paintings (such as Portrait of Martin Luis Guzman, shown below) before moving toward a post-impressionistic style. He began to paint large, simple shapes and used bold colors. He developed his own style while he was in Paris and his paintings started to attract attention. Rivera’s paintings were very popular and sold well. Check out Flower Festival for an example. Notice the difference between that painting and the one shown below.
In 1922, Rivera married his first wife, Guadalupe Marin. She was a model and a novelist. The marriage didn’t last and in 1929 Rivera married Frida Kahlo. She was also an artist. I’ll post about her tomorrow. When Kahlo died, Rivera married a third time. His final wife was Emma Hurtado, his agent (the person who sold his paintings).

Rivera became famous for his large frescoes. He liked creating art that would be seen by many people; murals were the perfect form. He painted 27 murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts. He also painted murals in New York City, San Francisco, and Mexico.

In 1955 Rivera fell ill. He died in 1956.

Go to Olga's Gallery to view more of Rivera's paintings.

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PeterParis said...

Maybe you will talk about it tomorrow? Did you see the film with Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina in the roles of Frida and Diego? (... and there are so many books - I have a few, just love Frida's and Diego's works.)

Jessica said...

I also like their work. I'm not sure I'd like some of Kahlo's paintings hanging in my house, though. Some of them are a little scary...

I haven't seen the movie yet! I wanted to go when it was in the theaters and never did. Now that you mentioned it, I've added it to my Netflix queue!

Anonymous said...