Thursday, April 11, 2013

Azotar part 3 - Chillin' at Diego Rivera's Crib

This is one of my favorite Diego Rivera paintings because it resembles my 11-month old food clutching grandson, Kaz.  

The Museo Casa Diego Rivera was founded in 1975 in the house where the famous Mexican painter was born. It is a large home with more than 100 Rivera paintings and lithographs on three floors, indicating they are from the collection of Marte R. Gomez, after whom a football stadium is named in Guanajuato. I could find nothing in English on the Internet except this: 'su:Gómez, Marte R. 1896-1973 Colecciones de arte.' … which makes sense to me. My impression is that he was an oficial del gobierno.

Diego wasn’t home. He died in 1957 at age 70. The name on his birth certificate may have set a Guiness Book world record. Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez.

Really. Extra wide birth certificate. And slightly long for signing a painting). But let’s not get sidetracked.

Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, but lived there before he ever picked up a brush. So his house, which is a “museum” is a bit of a stretch, like Diego’s real name. He had a twin brother, short name … Jose Carlos Maria Rivera-Barrientos, who died at two. They were both born on the same day, but sources say Jose was born on 8 December 1886 and Diego, 13 December 1886. Birth records 127 years ago were far from perfect. They were the two eldest sons of Diego Rivera and Maria del Pilar Barrientos. Both parents were school teachers, but wealthy.

The father was of Creole origin. According to rumor the painter's paternal grandfather had been
born in Russia and immigrated to Mexico. Diego's mother was one-quarter Indian and some sources say she was a Conservo (Jewish), whose ancestors had been forced to convert to Catholicism. "My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life,” Diego is reported to have said. I found no further explanation.
When Diego was six the family moved to Mexico City, where he was sent to the Carpantier Catholic College. From the age of ten he studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City.

Diego turned out to be a pretty good artist. I still don’t know who Marte R. Gomez was. If you know, please enlighten me.

I don’t know how many paintings Diego did in 70 years, but he was muy prolifico.

According to “A full listing of Diego Rivera's oil paintings numbers 243. Museums around the world hold 194 Diego Rivera paintings, with 140 located at the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City. Others are in private hands. Rivera also painted large-scale public murals in Mexico and the United States, including ones in Detroit, San Francisco and Mexico City.”

Doesn't seem like very many to me ... we must have at least 243 of Izzy's paintings hanging on the fridge and she's only five.

Don't worry, there's mucho mas ... watch for the blue elephant!

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