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Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera (December 8, 1886-November 24, 1957) was a Mexican painter and muralist, born in Guanajuato, Mexico.
- Diego Rivera -
Rivera went to Paris, France to live and work with the great gathering of artists in Montparnasse where his friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait in 1914.

In his undisciplined and increasingly violent private life, Rivera fathered several children from brief affairs, abandoning all of them. In the early 1920s, he left France and returned to Mexico, where he became interested in left-wing politics. There, he painted his first mural, in which ethnic Mexican subjects were portrayed in a political context.

He would become known for his grand murals depicting the life and history (particularly the popular uprisings) of the Mexican people. Starting in 1921, he began a series of murals in public buildings depicting the Mexican history in an innovative style combining Realism with strong influences of Pre-Columbian MesoAmerican art.

Several marriages and love affairs later he was introduced to Frida Kahlo, a militant Communist. He later went to Moscow, Russia, but was expelled by the authorities because of his involvement in anti-Soviet politics. In 1929, he returned to Mexico, and at age 43 he married the 22-year-old Kahlo.

From 1930 to 1934, he completed a number of frescoes in the United States, mainly of industrial life. In 1933, His Man at the Crossroads mural for the Rockefeller Center in New York City was removed after a furor erupted in the press because it contained a portrait of Lenin. Because of the negative publicity, a further commission to paint a mural for an exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair was canceled. In December 1933, an angry and humiliated Diego Rivera returned to Mexico.

- Diego Rivera - self-portrait
Having joined the International Communist League, he became friends with Soviet exile Leon Trotsky, who moved into his home in Mexico for a while. But they had a falling out and shortly after he left Rivera's home, Trotsky was assassinated.

A few years after the 1954 suicide of his wife Kahlo, he contracted a rare form of cancer and died on November 24, 1957. He is interred in the Panteón de Dolores, Mexico City.

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