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date: 17 October 2017

Summary and Keywords

The major art form produced in Mexico during the years following the Mexican Revolution of 1910, especially during 1920–1940, was mural painting, mostly in the technique of fresco. Three artists dominated this period: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, known collectively as the Big Three. Rufino Tamayo, younger and less ideologically aligned to those three, followed his own path of a more modernist style. An important easel painter of this period was Frida Kahlo, who traveled in the cultural and political circles of the muralists but who produced strongly personal images, especially of herself.

In addition, examples of mural paintings by the Big Three in the United States receive their due attention, as does the more independent mural production in Mexico of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The paintings are analyzed in terms of context, meaning brief references to biographical details, more expansive on the general sociohistorical setting, with accounts of the patronage where highly relevant, and relations between the artists themselves. Discussions of the style of the images, in the most comprehensive and general sense, are dedicated to revealing the ideological content of the style as it serves the more straightforward subjects of the paintings.

Keywords: muralism, Mexican Revolution, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siquieros, Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo

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