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    El cortés de Diego : monstruo pictórico : carta abierta de uno de los más fervorosos panegiristas de su obra, al notable pintor / Antonio Rodríguez
    Hoy (México, D. F., México). -- No. 777 (Ene. 12, 1952)
    p. 18-21 : ill.
    Journal article – Interviews
    Rodríguez, Antonio. "El Cortés de Diego: monstruo pictórico; Carta abierta de uno de los más fervorosos panegiristas de su obra, al notable pintor." Hoy (Mexico City), no.777 (January 1952): 18-21.
    Cortés, Hernán, 1485-1547; Cuauhtémoc, Emperor of Mexico, 1495?-1525; Palacio Nacional (Mexico City, Mexico)

In his letter, Antonio Rodríguez describes the mural painted by Diego Rivera at the National Palace in Mexico City. Rodríguez refers to the satirical portrayal of Cortés and goes on to criticize the mural, saying that by caricaturing the conquistador, Rivera ignores the importance of Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc’s role as a Mexican hero. Though Rodríguez is on the whole an ardent admirer of Rivera’s work, he is extremely critical of the mural at the National Palace, particularly in terms of its historical perspective.    


The mural referred to in this article is titled Historia de México de la época prehispánica a la conquista [The History of Mexico from the Pre-Hispanic period to the Conquest]. Antonio Rodríguez takes exception to the work, and strongly criticizes the way in which Diego Rivera (1886-1957) portrays Hernán Cortés. Rivera spent 22 years working on his murals at the National Palace in Mexico City, in which he depicted every phase of Mexico’s history, from the Pre-Hispanic period through the Mexican Revolution. The scene mentioned here is one of Rivera’s most frequently reproduced paintings, not just because it shows the conquistadors in battle, but because of its denigrating portrayal of Cortés, who was such a pivotal figure in the history of the Spanish conquest.  Antonio Rodríguez, a journalist and art critic who arrived in Mexico as an exile in 1939, wrote several articles about Rivera’s work for many important publications. But in this case, Rodríguez clearly does not agree with the great Maestro’s point of view. Basing himself on his own arguments, the critic appraises the mural from a “foreign perspective” that offers the public two points of view: one is Diego Rivera’s nationalist vision, obviously on the side of the Mexican people and their ancestors, and the other is his own vision as an art critic, that confronts the painter with both his mural and with the viewer of his work.  The mural was created in several stages; this section was painted between 1941 and 1951, and is in the northeast hallway on the first floor of the National Palace.  

María Fernanda Arochi
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of María Antonieta Fernández Moreno, Mexico City, México.
D.R. © 2011 Banco de México, “Fiduciario” en el Fideicomiso relativo a los Museos Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo. Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F.
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional