Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: The Golden Age of Mexican Painting

by Chloe Sayer 

Thursday 21 February 2019

Diego Rivera - Self Portrait, 1949

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957) have iconic status in Mexico. Rivera’s intricate visual narratives, rich with allegory and symbolism, adorn the walls of public buildings. Inspired by Aztec and Maya imagery, and by early Italian fresco painting, his vast murals combine social criticism with faith in human progress. Kahlo’s work, unlike Rivera’s, is small in format. Arguably Mexico’s most original painter, she made herself the principal theme of her art. Her paintings reflect her experiences and dreams. This lecture surveys the work of both artists; it chronicles their turbulent marriage and Mexico’s history after the 1910 Revolution.

Frida Kahlo - Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940


Chloe Sayer


A freelance specialist in the art and culture of Latin America, Chloe Sayer has lectured in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand.  She has curated several exhibitions and assisted on TV documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. Her many publications include Mexican Textiles (British Museum Press, 1990), Arts and Crafts of Mexico (Thames & Hudson, 1990), The Incas – The Ancient World (Wayland, 1998) and Textiles from Mexico (British Museum Press, 2002).

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