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Diego Rivera: 1886-1957: Artist Biography

Began Drawing As A Toddler, Arrived In Europe As A Young Man, Returned To Mexico, Became A Muralist

Diego Rivera: 1886-1957: Artist.

One of the most charismatic, controversial, and creative artists to emerge from the twentieth century, Mexican artist Diego Rivera revived the mural art form and rekindled interest in the folk art of Mexico. Much of the controversy surrounding Diego grew out of his politics. A self-avowed Communist, he nonetheless had no qualms about growing rich off of capitalist clients.

Rivera's personal life was as colorful as his murals. Physically he was imposing, standing over six foot tall and weighing more than 300 pounds most of his adult life. He was married four times—twice to artist Frida Kahlo—and incapable of being faithful. He was opinionated, passionate, and given to weaving his past into fantastical tales of adventure and daring. However, "…over and above his fabrications, his nonstop womanizing, his grotesque appearance, his eccentricities, his occasionally outrageous behavior, he was a thoroughly dedicated painter of great skill and phenomenal energy," a journalist who had befriended Rivera wrote in the Smithsonian.

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