José Clemente Orozco. Zapatistas. 1931

José Clemente Orozco Zapatistas 1931

  • Not on view

In the late 1920s and 1930s Mexico's most famous muralists, Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—known as Los tres grandes (The Big Three)—spent significant time living and working in the United States. Although their styles differed dramatically, the slain revolutionary peasant leader Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919) figures prominently in their work. Unlike Rivera, who always took a celebratory approach in representing Zapata and his supporters, in this painting Orozco depicts a somber moment in the Mexican Revolution as Zapatistas—Zapata's followers—march toward their death. "I don’t trust revolutions or glorify them since I witnessed too much butchery," Orozco later remarked. His trademark palette, dominated by blacks and earthy reds, underscores the violent nature of the subject matter and echoes the colors in the political caricatures he made early in his career for revolutionary journals.

Gallery label from 2009.
Additional text

The slain revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919) figures prominently in the work of Mexican artists of the 1920s and 1930s. In this painting Orozco depicts a somber moment in the Mexican Revolution, as Zapatistas—Zapata's peasant followers—march to their deaths. "I don't trust revolutions or glorify them, since I witnessed too much butchery," Orozco later remarked, referring to his experience in the Revolution. His trademark palette, dominated by blacks and earthy reds, underscores the violent nature of the subject matter and echoes the colors in the political caricatures he made for revolutionary journals early in his career.

Gallery label from 2011.
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
45 x 55" (114.3 x 139.7 cm)
Credit
Given anonymously
Object number
470.1937
Copyright
© 2020 José Clemente Orozco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].