Diego Rivera: gran maestro y un didáctico y lúcido historiador de la medicina
Diego Rivera is one of the artistic giants of the 20th century. His many original creations included landscapes, portraits and large murals created in both Mexico and the United States. Rivera ventured into many styles - cubism, naturalism and narrative realism - with great success. Rivera’s murals build on those of the Renaissance, pre-historic and colonial civilizations of Mexico. Biological and medical topics and their history form an important concern in Rivera’s work, present in many of his murals in a highly informative and creative manner. His two History of Cardiology murals present an original and comprehensive account of the developments of this medical specialty from pre-historic to modern times. His History of Medicine in Mexico (The people demands health) mural is a creatively and vigorously fashioned and highly dynamic and synthetic vision of the relationships between pre-historic and modern medicine in Mexico and its social foundations. Medical topics such as vaccines and vaccination, embryology and surgery are inventively and accurately presented in the large mural, Detroit Industry. The trigger and impetus for the concern of Rivera for these topics of life and death, and the exceedingly ground-breaking way he presents them, appear to stem from his rational materialism, his concern for collective wellbeing, his belief in progress through scientific developments and political action and his commitment to understand Mexican and American history.
Cardiology; General surgery; History, 20th Cent.; Public health; Vaccination