Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Monday, June 12, 2017

Picasso and Rivera

In April I wrote about a special exhibit at Mexico City's Palace of Fine Arts which dealt with the generation of artists who emerged from the Mexican Revolution.  Well, here I am in Mexico City a couple months later, and the Palace of Fine Arts is hosting another important show... "Picasso & Rivera".   This display of 150 works compares and contrasts the works of these two famous artists.  The show is a collaboration between the Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and is drawn from museums and collections from all over the world.

On Saturday, after Alejandro and I saw the German exposition and the naked bicyclists by the Revolution Monument (see previous post), we walked down Juárez Avenue to the Palace of Fine Arts.

We entered and bought tickets for the show.  The art exhibit had opened just the previous day, and there were huge crowds.  We probably should have waited a week or two to see it. 

Self portrait by Picasso

Self portrait by a young Diego Rivera

Pablo Picasso is famous for having revolutionized art by initiating the Cubist movement.  There are a number of his cubist paintings in the exhibit.

We don't usually think of Rivera as a cubist painter, but in the years before World War I, when he was living in Europe, he was drawn into the Cubist circle.

"Zapatista Landscape" is considered the apex of Rivera's Cubist period.

After World War I, Picasso returned to classical themes of his Mediterranean homeland.

Likewise Rivera turned to the Mexican people, their way of life, and pre-Hispanic art for his inspiration.  This is the Diego Rivera with whom we are more familiar.

A portrait of Rivera's daughter Ruth

The exhibit ends with a juxtaposition of a series of prints the Rivera did as illustrations for the "Popul Vuh" (the Mayan sacred text) and a collection of Picasso prints inspired by ancient Greek mythology.


This print definitely foreshadows Picasso's later masterpiece "Guernica".

The exhibit will be at the Palace of Fine Arts until September 10th.


  1. Reminds me......"everything Modern always looks Modern", these still look Modern, fresh,even.

    1. To me they look a heck of a lot better than much of the stuff that passes for art today!

  2. It's always interesting to trace the evolution of an artist. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona features a lot of his early sketches, when his style was different than what most people are familiar with today.

    As for Rivera, I continue to be amazed by how prolific he was as an artist; I've seen his work seemingly everywhere; and never a piece that I didn't like in some way.

    Cool exhibit!

    1. Yes, people usually think of Rivera strictly as a muralist, but he also did so many canvasses and prints. Maybe you can make it done here again before September, and see the exhibit.