Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, to a well-to-do family. Rivera was descended, on his mother's side, from Jews who converted to Roman Catholicism,[citationneeded] and, on his father's side, from Spanish nobility. Diego had a twin brother named Carlos, who died two years after they were born. From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of SanCarlos in Mexico City. He was sponsored to continue study in Europe by Teodoro A. Dehesa Méndez, the governor of the State of Veracruz.
After arrival in Europe in 1907, Rivera initially went tostudy with Eduardo Chicharro in Madrid, Spain, and from there went to Paris, France, to live and work with the great gathering of artists in Montparnasse, especially at La Ruche, where his friend AmedeoModigliani painted his portrait in 1914. His circle of close friends, which included Ilya Ehrenburg, Chaim Soutine, Amadeo Modigliani and Modigliani's wife Jeanne Hébuterne, Max Jacob, gallery ownerLeopold Zborowski, and Moise Kisling, was captured for posterity by Marie Vorobieff-Stebelska (Marevna) in her painting "Homage to Friends from Montparnasse" (1962).
In those years, Paris waswitnessing the beginning of cubism in paintings by such eminent painters as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. From 1913 to 1917, Rivera enthusiastically embraced this new school of art. Around 1917,inspired by Paul Cézanne's paintings, Rivera shifted toward Post-Impressionism with simple forms and large patches of vivid colors. His paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to displaythem at several exhibitions.
Career in Mexico
Diego Rivera's mural depicting Mexico's history at the National Palace in Mexico City.
En el Arsenal detail, 1928
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. After Jose Vasconcelos became Minister of Education, Rivera returned...