Mexico City and Ravenna...who knew?

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Dec 12th, 2017, 09:15 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Mexico City and Ravenna...who knew?

Hello all,

In reading up for a February trip to Mexico, I came across a fascinating link between Ravenna and Mexico City and I thought I’d post a note for folks who happen to be planning a visit to either place.

We visited Ravenna a few weeks ago, staying at the Palazzo Bezzi, one block from Sant Apollinare Nuovo, with its magnificent mosaics. It turns out that Diego Rivera (whose fame is now almost eclipsed by that of his artist spouse Frida Kahlo) visited Ravenna as an art student based in Paris and studied these mosaics.

When Rivera returned to Mexico, the Minister of Public Education gave him his first big mural commission in 1922. This was for the Simon Bolivar auditorium in the Colegio de San Ildefonso in the historic center of Mexico City, two blocks from the Templo Major of the Aztecs and the Cathedral of the Spanish conquerors.

In San Ildefonso Rivera produced “La Creacion,” a large work with twenty semi-Byzantine figures, some with golden haloes, showing the influence of the Ravenna mosaics as well as early Renaissance frescoes of Florence and Padua, which he had also studied. But Rivera was also moving toward the themes which would dominate his mature work, the blending of Indian and Spanish peoples and a new revolutionary Mexico.

One critic says that the mural is a “muddle,” using Christian symbols to portray “a mystical set of non-Christian beliefs”. Still, it’s a fascinating link between two very different cultures and worth a look.
EYWandBTV is offline  
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Dec 27th, 2017, 04:14 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Appreciate the tidbit of information. That's what travelling so fascinating.
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