His tempestuous affair and marriages with fellow artist Frida Kahlo, scandalous lifestyle and controversial communist politics are all reflected in many of his paintings.
They were also immortalized in Selma Hayek’s terrific movie project “Frida” (in which Hayek also starred).
We’re talking about Diego Rivera.
Rivera is also celebrated and revered in his homeland as one of Mexico’s foremost 20th century artists – perhaps the best-known member of its trio of great muralists.
Diego Rivera Museum, Guanajuato
Rivera was born in Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most charming colonial towns.
There are several excellent museums in Guanajuato. Perhaps the most famous is the macabre Mummy Museum, displaying over 100 mummies.
The home where Rivera was born is also open to the public as a museum. And if you’re an art lover, visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Guanajuato.
In typical style, the tall narrow house has a central courtyard and fountain.
Its first floor rooms feature furnishings of that era, including the brass bed Rivera was born in.
Art on display at the Diego Rivera House Museum
Over 175 original water colors, sketches of his murals and oil paintings are on display on the upper floors.
There’s even a black-and-white nude sketch of Rivera’s lover and wife, Frida.
They represent various stages of his artistic life, including his Cubism training.
A collection of imaginative works by contemporary Mexican artists, found in a new glass and stone building connected to Rivera’s birth home, is an additional treat. (We were unable to take photos of Rivera’s art works, but we could snap photos of other artists’ pieces.)
Coffee after… and a singing cowboy!
After we visited the Diego Rivera Museum, we stopped at an outdoor café by the ornate Juarez Theater (or Teatro Juarez) – another must-see site in Guanajuato.
As we sipped our drinks – limonade for Janice (made from fresh-squeezed lemon juice and soda water) and cappuccino for George – we were serenaded by an senior singing cowboy strumming his guitar.
For a tip of course…
Photos © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase (except lead image by David Ludwig)