The Academy of San Carlo and a Revolution

         Academy_of_San_Carlos_in_Mexico_City.jpg     The Academy of San Carlo is and was an art school located in Mexico. Most artists that participated in the Mexican Revolution were once students at the academy. Protests, painters of murals, and more came from the academy.  I would have to agree that this school had to be a central hub for the revolution. 

                Numerous  Artists such as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfara Siqueiros were students at the school and stood up against the country.  Orozco assisted with leading a rebellion within his own class, inciting protests and fighting for what he believed in. Once Madero was assassinated in 1913 and a new cabinet was appointed, the secretary of education began to take notice and attempted to shut down fine arts. With Pancho Villa’s siege, Orozco was the illustrator of the propaganda against the government.

                In 1913, a painting school was opened on the outskirts of Mexico City that was nicknamed “Barbizon”. This would be the location of secret meetings held by Siqueiros to conspire against the Huerta Regime. Siqueiros would also paint murals in political objection, his first being “the Spirit of Occident Alighting on the Americas”

                Diego Rivera and his 12 major lithographs were also revolutionary, most notably his first five. It is interesting to note that the first ten of these lithographs were all made for financial gain and the last diego-riveratwo were to impress a woman.

           It is possible that if the Academy of San Carlo did not produce such motivated and free-thinking artists, the revolution would have not been the same. There would not have been artists painting murals that stood against the Mexican government, nor an artist to stand with Pancho Villa and his propaganda.

-Joshua Lott

Charlot, Jean. “Diego Rivera at the Academy of San Carlos.” College Art Journal 10, no. 1 (1950): 10-17. doi:10.2307/772362.

Charlot, Jean. “Orozco and Siqueiros at the Academy of San Carlos.” College Art Journal 10, no. 4 (1951): 355-94. doi:10.2307/772725.

Patterson, Robert H. “An Art in Revolution: Antecedents of Mexican Mural Painting, 1900-1920.” Journal of Inter-American Studies 6, no. 3 (1964): 377-87. doi:10.2307/164913.

Williams, Reba White. “Mexican Modern Art.” Print Quarterly 18, no. 2 (2001): 234-37.


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