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.

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
© 2019 José Clemente Orozco / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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