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South Wall of a Mural Depicting Detriot Industrty By: Diego Rivera.

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1 South Wall of a Mural Depicting Detriot Industrty By: Diego Rivera


3 Subject Matter The two main panel on the North and South walls depict laborers working at Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant. Other panels depict other advances made in fields of science, such as medicine and new technology. The entire mural as a whole encompasses the idea that all actions and ideas are one.

4 Diego Rivera born in Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, to a well-to-do family Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. study in Europe by Teodoro A. Dehesa Méndez, the governor of the State of Veracruz.

5 Con’t After arrival in Europe in 1907, Rivera initially went to study with Eduardo Chicharro in Madrid, Spain, and from there went to Paris, France, to live and work with the great gathering of artists in Montparnasse, especially at La Ruche, where his friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait in 1914. His circle of close friends, which included Ilya Ehrenburg, Chaim Soutine, Amadeo Modigliani and Modigliani's wife Jeanne Hébuterne, Max Jacob, gallery owner Leopold Zborowski, and Moise Kisling, was captured for posterity by Marie Vorobieff-Stebelska (Marevna) in her painting "Homage to Friends from Montparnasse" (1962).

6 Con.’t In those years, Paris was witnessing the beginning of cubism in paintings by such eminent painters as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. From 1913 to 1917, Rivera enthusiastically embraced this new school of art. Around 1917, inspired by Paul Cézanne's paintings, Rivera shifted toward Post- Impressionism with simple forms and large patches of vivid colors. His paintings began to attract attention, and he was able to display them at several exhibitions.

7 Controversy Even before the murals were made, there had been controversy surrounding the conflict between Rivera's Marxist philosophy and Detroit being a developing industrial center at the time. Critics viewed it as pro- labor propaganda. When the murals were completed, the Detroit Institute for the Arts invited various clergymen to comment. Catholic and Episcopalian clergy condemned the murals for supposed "blasphemy." The Detroit News protested that they were "vulgar" and "unamerican." As a result of the controversy, 10,000 people visited the museum on a single Sunday, and the budget for it was eventually raised.

8 Con.’t Rivera depicts the workers as in harmony with their machines and highly productive. This view reflects both Karl Marx's begrudging admiration for the high productivity of capitalism and the wish of Edsel Ford, who funded the project, to have the Ford motor plant depicted in a favorable light. Rivera depicted byproducts from the ovens being made into fertilizer and Henry Ford leading a trade-school engineering class.

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