While Diego Rivera may be most famous in North America for his marriage to fellow Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, his most famous work of art is most likely the depiction of a woman grinding maize called La Molendera.
Globally, Rivera is best known for his politically-charged murals. These monumental frescoes have adorned some of the most important public buildings in the world, including the National Palace in Mexico City and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The Art of Politics
Because his work often championed his left-leaning political views, Rivera became a controversial figure in the 1930’s. A mural commissioned for Rockefeller Center was removed when it was discovered the painting included a portrait of Vladimir Lenin.
Rivera’s stormy marriage to Frida Kahlo garnered each as much notoriety as their work. She lovingly depicted her husband very literally ‘on her mind’ in a 1943 self-portrait which inset an image of Rivera on her famous forehead.
Rivera's Work Today
Rivera’s 1925 Flower Day has become one of Rivera’s most reprinted works, and was used extensively for the promotion of a 1990 traveling exhibition called Mexico: Splendors Of Thirty Centuries. His The Flower Carrier has also become a popular poster.
A Master of Mid-century Painting
Diego Rivera died in 1957 at the age of seventy.
J.Stephen Brantley is a freelance writer and playwright whose work has been produced across the United States. He's a graduate of NYU who has written professionally for 20 years. Brantley lives in New York, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and writes for a variety of non-profit organizations.