Dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alameda Park


Diego Rivera Mural

 If you visit Mexico City you don’t want to miss this mural by Diego Rivera that he painted in 1947. It measures 64.4 sq. meters, 4.17 meters high by 15.6 meters long, Originally it was in the vestibule of the Hotel Del Prado across the street from where the painting is now located. After the earthquake of 1985 the Hotel suffered irreparable damage and the painting was moved to its new location.

 It depicts the History of the Park as Diego recalled it in his childhood and mentions many historic references to it. We see Diego’s self portrait as a child strolling through the park holding the hand of a “Catrina” (Death) while dreaming of a perfect love, (Frida Kalo standing behind him.

a portion of the mural

 Also in the painting is Jose Marti, Father of Cuban Independence (tipping his hat), Jose Marti lived in Mexico for about a year, he was well known in the literary society as a poet. He wrote the words to the song, “Guantanamera”. He died in combat in Cuba in 1895. The “Catrina” (Death Figure) immortalized by the Painter Jose Posadas, standing to the right, wears a Boa of feathers shaped like a snake, prehispanic symbol of the plumed serpent, “Quetzalcoatl”. Standing behind Posadas is Ricardo Magon, Liberal Writer who was against the Dictator Porfirio Diaz. He was forced out of the Country but kept writing against the Tyranny of Diaz and was persecuted even in the U.S., he died in Prison in the States.

Gen. Winfield Scott

 General Scott, (known as “old fuss’n’ feathers”) during the Mexican American war, camped his troops in Alameda Park for almost two years.

Liberal Thinker, Ignacio Ramirez

One of the many figures in the mural, Diego added Ignacio Ramirez, who during a Conference at his Academy in 1836 had said “God does not Exist”, Diego painted this phrase into the mural, enraging the Catholic populace, a priest went to the hotel Del Prado and scratched the phrase out, Rivera came and repainted it in but later removed it because of the controversy.
There are more than a hundred historical figures in the mural, Diego loved color and many of his murals can be found in the National Palace, the Secretary of Public Education Offices & Bellas Artes.
One of my favorites is in Bellas Artes called, “Man in Charge of His Destiny”, The Murals there are a recreation of a mural he was commisioned to do in the Rockefeller Center in New York but were deemed too “left leaning” and destroyed.
check them out here:

Destiny mural


The CIA, John Foster Dulles, The United Fruit Company

  Exploitation of the fruit pickers in Central America, Rockefeller had the Mural destroyed, since he paid for it I guess he could do as he wished but Rivera recreated it in Mexico City.

Here’s the dream on a sunday afternoon in all its glory…..