Diego Rivera, Italian Sketchbook, 1920-21 - page 9

of Arts. In translating the formal ideas and fresco techniques of painters like
Giotto, Uccello and Tintoretto to his mural projects in Mexico and the U.S.,
Rivera provided the art historical link between the Italian Renaissance and
Twentieth Century Muralism in the Americas.
Writing of this period in Rivera’s life, Florence Arquin observes:
His studies in Italy rewarded him with an understanding of the great
mural tradition of the Renaissance. There he acquired an awareness of
the basic architectural character of murals and of the prerequisite need
for direct, simple statement and organization, as well as an equally in-
formed understanding of form and color to evoke a calculated emotion-
al response. He was challenged and invigorated as he examined Italy’s
legacy of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures which had endowed
the Renaissance with its humanistic qualities and forceful tradition of
realism. . . . It was the humanism inherent in the Renaissance emphasis
upon mankind in general and the individual in particular . . . that drew
Rivera to the Italian masters . . . That these qualities should have pos-
sessed a powerful appeal for Rivera is attributable not only to his own
political and social sympathies—founded largely in the liberal beliefs of
his father and his teacher Posada—but also because they now coincided
with Rivera’s own emotional, intellectual, and philosophic convictions.*
* Diego Rivera, The Shaping of an Artist,
, Oklahoma,
, p.
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