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Muralista movement

Leonel Sagahón Campero


Mexican muralism is an artistic movement that spans the first half of the twentieth century. It is characterized by the decoration of the walls of public buildings with figurative and realist paintings that have a social and ideological content and marked didactic intentions. According to the principle that art would act as an educational medium to teach the “people” and thus strengthen national identity whilst complying with the ideals of the revolution, the movement began during the post-revolutionary period and successfully constructed the nationalist image with which Mexico embraced modernity. Thus, with art sponsored by the state, at the time considered revolutionary, the movement exalted the nation's indigenous origins and illustrated the epic events of national history while proclaiming the continuation of the ideals of the Mexican Revolution under Marxist ideology, an ideology which nevertheless formed no part of the revolution, or the resulting state. The artistic nationalism that emerged, according to Octavio Paz, “from the cosmopolitanism of the twentieth century” and distinguishes the Mexican school of painting marks the beginning of “modern art in Mexico, and even, as a movement, the American Continent” ( Paz 1987 : 21, 24). Its principal figures are David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974), Diego Rivera (1886–1957), and José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949), though other important ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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