Guanajuato, Mexico Introduction

Guanajuato diego-rivera

The celebrated artist Diego Rivera, known for his tumutuous marriage with Frida Kahlo and for his large-scale murals, is perhaps Guanajuato's most famous son. In fact, you can visit his childhood home - now a museum - to check out his family's personal effects along with a collection of his works.

Having been born into a Criollo family, Rivera easily identified with the social struggles of the Mexican peoples, a recurrent theme in his artwork. Through depicting significant people and events as well as symbolic scenes, he was able to tell whole stories and convey moral messages to the public. His murals, painted al fresco on large, public wall spaces, are full of bold colors and crowded scenes.

After an extensive and formative stint in Europe, Diego Rivera returned to his homeland of Mexico and, along with artists like José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, made a name for himself in the New Mexican Mural Movement In a classic "hindsight is 20-20" move, Guanajuato now celebrates the life and works of Rivera, who was actually banned from the relatively conservative city during much of his lifetime for his extreme left Marxist beliefs.

Today, you can see Diego Rivera's colorful murals throughout the Americas, from San Francisco to New York, Mexico City and Detroit. However, if you're in Guanajuato, stop into the museum, where you can see the artist's portraits of his wife Frida, paintings of local Mexican peasants and even sketches of some of his most memorable murals.