Diego Rivera Biography

Diego Rivera




Diego Rivera, painter, muralist, and printmaker, remains one of the foremost Mexican artists of the 20th century.  Born the descendent of Spanish nobility, Rivera’s artistic education began early and with the support of his family and community. He attended the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City beginning at age ten. After receiving sponsorship for educational travel in Europe, went to study with Eduardo Chicarro in Madrid, Spain, and then traveled to Paris, France to live and work with the artists in Montparnasse. Ensconced in the capitol of the modern art world, Rivera pursued the newest schools of artistic expression: Cubism and Post-Impressionism. Eventually, however, he would dismiss these styles in favor of a more traditional approach native to his homeland.
In 1920 he traveled to Italy to study art; in particular, the Renaissance frescoes. He then returned to Mexico, where he would become established as an artist whose work, while uniquely his own, retained the flavor of Mexican folk art in its narrative style and bold line and color. His work often challenged the political right and reflected his radical political viewpoints. He worked to develop stronger art communities in Mexico, and in 1922 he helped found the Revolutionary Union of Technical Workers, Painters, and Sculptors. By the 1930s his fresco and mural work was in demand in North America and elsewhere in the Western world.
His works are included in collections across the United States, in Argentina, Russia, Iran, and Brazil.