44 Facts About Diego Rivera


Diego Maria de la Concepcion Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodriguez, known as Diego Rivera, was a prominent Mexican painter.


Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals in, among other places, Mexico City, Chapingo, and Cuernavaca, Mexico; and San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City, United States.


Diego Rivera had four wives and numerous children, including at least one natural daughter.


Diego Rivera wrote in 1935: "My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life", despite never being raised practicing any Jewish faith, Diego Rivera felt his Jewish ancestry informed his art and gave him "sympathy with the downtrodden masses".


Diego Rivera was of Spanish, Amerindian, African, Italian, Jewish, Russian, and Portuguese descent.


Diego Rivera began drawing at the age of three, a year after his twin brother died.


Diego Rivera divorced Beloff and married Guadalupe Marin as his second wife in June 1922, after having returned to Mexico.


Diego Rivera was still married when he met art student Frida Kahlo in Mexico.


Diego Rivera died on November 24,1957, at the age of 70.


Diego Rivera was buried at the Panteon de Dolores in Mexico City.


Diego Rivera was sponsored to continue study in Europe by Teodoro A Dehesa Mendez, the governor of the State of Veracruz.


Diego Rivera's circle frequented La Ruche, where his Italian friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait in 1914.


From 1913 to 1917, Diego Rivera enthusiastically embraced this new style.


Around 1917, inspired by Paul Cezanne's paintings, Diego Rivera shifted toward Post-Impressionism, using simple forms and large patches of vivid colors.


Diego Rivera's paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to display them at several exhibitions.


Diego Rivera claimed in his autobiography that, while in Mexico in 1904, he engaged in cannibalism, pooling his money with others to "purchase cadavers from the city morgue" and particularly "relish[ing] women's brains in vinaigrette".


In 1920, urged by Alberto J Pani, the Mexican ambassador to France, Rivera left France and traveled through Italy studying its art, including Renaissance frescoes.


Diego Rivera developed his own native style based on large, simplified figures and bold colors with an Aztec influence clearly present in murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City begun in September 1922, intended to consist of one hundred and twenty-four frescoes, and finished in 1928.


Diego Rivera painted murals in the main hall and corridor at the Chapingo Autonomous University of Agriculture.


Diego Rivera painted a fresco mural titled in the university's chapel between 1923 and 1927.


That year Diego Rivera was expelled from the party because of his suspected Trotskyite sympathies.


Also in 1929, American journalist Ernestine Evans's book The Frescoes of Diego Rivera, was published in New York City; it was the first English-language book on the artist.


In September 1930, Rivera accepted a commission by architect Timothy L Pflueger for two works related to his design projects in San Francisco.


Diego Rivera painted a mural for the City Club of the San Francisco Stock Exchange for US$2,500.


Diego Rivera completed a fresco for the California School of Fine Art, a work that was later relocated to what is the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute.


Diego Rivera met Helen Wills Moody, a notable American tennis player, who modeled for his City Club mural.


Between 1932 and 1933, Diego Rivera completed a major commission: twenty-seven fresco panels, entitled Detroit Industry, on the walls of an inner court at the Detroit Institute of Arts.


When Diego Rivera refused to remove Lenin from the painting, he was ordered to leave the US.


One of Diego Rivera's assistants managed to take a few photographs of the work so Diego Rivera was able to later recreate it.


Diego Rivera issued a press statement, saying that he would use the remaining money from his commission at Rockefeller Center to repaint the same mural, over and over, wherever he was asked, until the money ran out.


Diego Rivera had been paid in full although the mural was reportedly destroyed.


Diego Rivera repainted Man at the Crossroads in 1934 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, calling this version Man, Controller of the Universe.


On June 5,1940, invited again by Pflueger, Diego Rivera returned for the last time to the United States to paint a ten-panel mural for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco.


Diego Rivera painted in front of attendees at the Exposition, which had already opened.


Diego Rivera received US$1,000 per month and US$1,000 for travel expenses.


Diego Rivera is shown holding Rivera's hand as they plant a white tree together.


Diego Rivera endowed his Catrina figure with indigenous features and thus transformed her into a nationalist icon.


In 1926, Diego Rivera became a member of AMORC, the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, an occult organization founded by American occultist Harvey Spencer Lewis.


In 1926, Diego Rivera was among the founders of AMORC's Mexico City lodge, called Quetzalcoatl after an ancient indigenous god.


Diego Rivera painted an image of Quetzalcoatl for the local temple.


In 1954 Diego Rivera tried to be readmitted into the Mexican Communist Party.


Diego Rivera had been expelled in part because of his support of Trotsky, who had been exiled and assassinated years before in Mexico.


Diego Rivera told his questioners that, by joining AMORC, he wanted to infiltrate a typical "Yankee" organization on behalf of Communism.


Diego Rivera was played by Ruben Blades in Cradle Will Rock, by Alfred Molina in Frida, and by Jose Montini in Eisenstein in Guanajuato.