Socialist Worker

Street art 3: Diego Rivera and the Mexican Revolution

Issue No. 2031

“The Night of the Rich”

“The Night of the Rich”

Mexico was rocked by a revolution between 1910 and 1919. The post-revolutionary government attempted to harness art to its cause.

It commissioned artists such as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros to create murals around Mexico.

These designers were to portray a sense of pride and a new national identity for the Mexican nation. The government wanted to retell Mexico’s past from a populist viewpoint.

Rivera portrayed an idealised version of the Mexican peasantry and the indigenous people – sections of society that had previously been oppressed and ignored.

These incredible murals sought to portray the divisions between rich and poor. Examples include The Class Struggle at the National Palace in Mexico City. It shows scenes of struggle from Mexico’s history with Karl Marx urging workers and peasants to resist.

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