Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh’s picture book account of Mexican painter Diego Rivera’s... read more

Duncan Tonatiuh’s picture book account of Mexican painter Diego Rivera’s life and work as an artist begins by looking at the painter’s education, artistic influences, and desire to make art about and for the people of Mexico. “He wanted to celebrate the things that were special to Mexico and wanted Mexicans, from all distant parts of the land, to learn about their culture and feel proud.” Tonatiuh then imagines what Rivera might choose to paint if he were alive today, connecting the possibilities to the art for which he is known. “Would he paint the big city ... as he painted the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán? ... Maybe Diego would paint shops at the mall ... as he painted street vendors selling flores. ” He notes that Rivera’s dream of a better future for “the common people” is something the painter celebrated in his art, and today “it is up to us to make our own murals and bring them to life.” Tonatiuh’s arresting and distinctive visual style is inspired in part by ancient Mexican art. A glossary defines terms relating to art and to Mexican heritage, and an author’s note provides more details on Rivera’s life, as well as Tonatiuh’s own artistic influences. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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