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Diego Rivera December 8 1886 - November 24 1957 full name Diego Mariacutea de la Concepcioacuten Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodriacuteguez was a Mexican painter and muralist born in Guanajuato Guanajuato of Jewish Converso heritage 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 Rivera was a prolific Mexican artist He became famous for murals that portrayed Mexican life and history Rivera was a controversial figure because of his radical political beliefs and his attacks on the church and clergy Although Rivera was born in Guanajuato in the 1920s he became involved in the new Mexican mural movement With such Mexican artists as Joseacute Clemente Orozco David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo he began to experiment with fresco painting on large walls Rivera soon developed his own style of large simplified figures and bold colors Many of his murals deal symbolically with Mexican society and thought after the countrys 1910 Revolution Some of Riveras best murals are in the National Palace in Mexico City and at the National Agricultural School in Chapingo near Mexico City Rivera painted several significant works in the United States which he visited in the early 1930s and again in 1940 Perhaps his finest surviving United States work is a mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts Several marriages and love affairs later he was introduced to Frida Kahlo a Communist She became a famous and noted Mexican painter only in the later stages of her life He later went to Moscow Russia
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