The National Palace (Spanish: Palacio Nacional) is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. Inside this grandiose colonial palace you'll see Diego Rivera murals (painted between 1929 and 1951) that depict Mexican civilization from the arrival of Quetzalcóatl (the Aztec plumed serpent god) to the post-revolutionary period. Such murals were common in pre-conquest Mexico as well as in Europe. Rivera had to design his composition around the pre-existing built environment of the National Palace. Explore centuries of Mexican history and marvel at the fascinating collection of murals by Diego Rivera in the national palace of Mexico City. He represents figures grinding maíz (corn) to make tortillas, playing music, creating paintings, sculpture, and leatherwork, and transporting goods for trade and imperial tribute. Nothing was solitary; nothing was irrelevant.”[3]. The Mexican Revolution started when liberals and intellectuals began to challenge the regime of Porfirio Díaz, a dictator who had been in power since 1877. By Ana Becerra Celebrated Mexican painter Diego Rivera transcribed the history of Mexico in a mural in his own style of painting on the main staircase of the National Palace of Mexico City. Diego Rivera Murals – Palacio Nacional. Mexican artist Diego Rivera responded to this question when he painted The History of Mexico, as a series of murals that span three large walls within a grand stairwell of the National Palace in Mexico City. In August 1929, Rivera began painting his huge mural in the large stairways and stairwells of the National Palace, the center of the Mexican government and nation. In an overwhelming and crowded composition, Rivera represents pivotal scenes from the history of the modern nation-state, including scenes from the Spanish Conquest, the fight for independence from Spain, the Mexican-American war, the Mexican Revolution, and an imagined future Mexico in which a workers’ revolution has triumphed. In the immediate years following the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920), the newly formed government sought to establish a national identity that eschewed Eurocentrism (an emphasis on European culture) and instead heralded the Amerindian. See the bottom of each page for copyright information. The lure of the American Southwest: E. Martin Hennings, The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman, Why is that important? The large murals in the stairwell depicting the history of Mexico from 1521 to 1930 were painted between 1929 and 1935. This Diego Rivera Mural was once stolen by Koopa Troopas during the events of Mario is Missing!. Instead, the viewer’s response to this visual avalanche of history is to play an active role in the interpretation of the narrative. In the lower section of the mural however, there is no such distinction between, for example, scenes of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, the subsequent destruction of Mesoamerican painted books (now called codices), the arrival of Christian missionaries, the destruction of pre-Columbian temples, and construction of new colonial structures—emphasizing the interrelated nature of these events. The National Palace was, we'll, very palacial. . Murals were produced mainly in Mexico City and surrounding areas between 1923 and 1939. The Aztec World, the title of the mural on the North Wall, features Rivera’s first large-scale rendering of Mesoamerica before the Spanish invasion—here focused on the Aztecs (the Mexica). Following the narrative up, Rivera represents—using a pictorial structure unique to this wall—negative social forces such as high-society figures, corrupt and reactionary clergy, and the invasion of foreign capital—here represented by contemporaneous capitalists such as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who was attempting to secure access to Mexican oil at the time.
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