Diego Riverais the great representative of Mexican Muralism, and his work is distributed mainly throughout his country, in different cities and buildings. However, here we bring a work that in some way is a replica, since it is a fresco made expressly by Rivera himself for an exhibition he did in 1931 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which is why today the painting continues to be exhibited at MoMA.
El Caudillo Agrario Zapata by Diego Rivera
However, as we say, the work is like a duplicate, since it partially repeats the mural he made in 1930 for thePalacio de Cortésin the Mexican city ofCuernavaca.
We must take into account the historical moment in which Diego Rivera (1886 – 1957) developed his artistic career, since his works from the 20s and 30s of the last century cannot be understood without the triumph of the Revolution Mexican from 1910, when characters like the one presented in this image emerged: Emiliano Zapata. Which we see here dressed in typical Cuernavaca clothing, given the original location of the frescoes.
In short, these types of images are understood in this historical context, since they are part of the education of the population. Hence this enhancement of indigenous and agricultural culture, enhancement not only with the suit,but also with the weapons of those revolutionaries that here are old bows and the same machetes that are used for the corn harvest.
A precarious armament but that did not prevent victory, in fact here we see the landowner completely defeated and trampled despite his elegant sword, whileZapatahas stolen his horse.
By the way, it is very interesting to observe this horse that seems to be taken from other paintings, but now historical and distant: the Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello. And it is that Rivera during his formative stage went toItalyto study classical and Renaissance art
Like him for a time, he lived inParisto get to know other types of more avant-garde artistic manifestations. With all that baggage he returned to Mexico in 1921, and both he and the politicians of the time found the power of persuasion that these mural paintings, made with a technique as old as fresco, very interesting. That is, apply the paint on a mortar surface that was still wet, so that the colors are not one more layer, but end up merging with the mortar support.
Something that was not new, since it had been done for centuries in churches and palaces with both religious and mythological scenes, however in Mexico it will acquire that different tone, so that Muralism Mexicano emerges as a declaration of intent and propaganda for indigenous values, native culture and the great personalities of itshistory, although it is true that in cases like Zapata's, his figure has increased over time, since we must not forget that he was a victim of the revolutionaries themselves.