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Riveras artistic precocity was recognized by his parents, both of whom were teachers.

He was drawing at two, taking art courses at nine and enrolled at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City at eleven. There the quality of his work, especially his landscape painting, earned him a scholarship at fifteen and a government pension at eighteen. At nineteen he was awarded a travel grant to Europe, and in 1907 he went to Spain, settling in Paris two years later. In November 1910 he returned to Mexico for an exhibition of his work at the Academia. His return to Mexico made him extremely happy. He felt as if he had re-entered a world where the colors were clearer and richer than anywhere else. He began to paint as naturally as he breathed. He got jobs painting murals on walls at the University of Mexico, the Ministry of Education, the Agricultural College at Chicago, and other places. This new work by Rivera was beautiful. Everything he painted had meaning. He showed workers weaving, mining, and farming. But he showed what their lives were really like. He showed them, for example, entering a mine in one panel and then coming out in another, weary and exhausted. Rivera not only showed the hardness of life, he showed its joy. His art always glorified love and work and criticized cruelty and laziness. Sugar Cane is a portable fresco panel 571/8 x 941/8 inches painted by Rivera in New York on the occasion of his exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, which opened in December 1931 and later traveled to Philadelphia. A leading figure in the Mexican mural movement, Rivera sought to illustrate Mexican history, before and after the revolution of 191117, in a direct and straightforward way that could be understood by the masses. To achieve this aim, the muralists had revived the Italian Renaissance

fresco tradition of applying pigments ground in water to a moist lime plaster wall surface. The artist was given a spacious studio in the Museum of Modern Art building and completed eight fresco panels during his stay there. Sugar Cane is based on one of the artist's murals at the Palace of Corts in Cuernavaca, completed in 1930. This panel illustrates the harsh reality of life for ordinary Mexicans in the southern state of Morelos before Emiliano Zapata led the agrarian revolution there in 1911. Rivera contrasts the languid pose of the sugar plantation owner, indolently stretched in his hammock in the background, with the backbreaking work carried out by the peasant laborers, watched over by a menacing foreman on horseback. So it depicts, on the one hand, the suppression of the working class by landowners, and on the other, the nobility of the suppressed workers. As we can see in the foreground there are three children wearing simple, peasant clothing. On the left, a girl reaches up to cut papayas from a tree, and a younger girl, in profile, holds an empty basket. On the right, a barefoot boy lugs a heavy basket full of papayas. The curve of a heavy bundle of sugar cane on a mans back leads our eyes into the middle ground. Here, a man wearing a gun and a sombrero (broad-brimmed, straw hat) sits astride a horse, pointing his whip at three men tying bundles of sugar cane. In the background, a man with a crisscrossed cartridge belt and a rifle sits in the shade. Behind him, a man holding a whip lounges in a hammock, lazily looking out at all the activity. The straight, white columns of the veranda (porch) march back on a diagonal, echoing the figure of the girl in the foreground. The silhouette of an alert dog directs our attention toward a row of men cutting sugar cane with machetes (large
knives).

Some symbols are depicted in this art of work. The meaning of the stalk of sugar cane is an attribute of SARASVATI, Indian goddess of vegetation. The dogs are symbol of faithfulness, loyalty and companion and messenger of numerous deities in the art of many civilizations. The horse is symbol of courage, strength and swiftness. The young girl on the left represents the traditional Mexican working class, and is featured repeatedly in other paintings and murals, for instance as seen in "The Flower vendor (Girl with Lilies)". Symbols are uses by artists to represent beliefs, attitudes, or feelings that can evoke powerful emotions. Diego Rivera, in simplified forms and with brilliant colorful, rescued beautifully the past pre-Columbian, like the most significant moments of Mexican history: the Earth, the farmer and the worker; the customs, and the popular character. There are some places in the painting that look warm and sunny; this is the case for the background and the middle ground. For this area the artist uses the lighter side of the warm palette, the color scheme consists of yellow green, orange, and red in varying degrees of intensity and key. There are also other places such as the foreground that look cool and shady dominated by cool greens. The figures in the painting imply direction and movement. The direction of movement is present in the way the fields of sugar cane in the background are tilted diagonally which implies motion. The value is used to mold the figures more realistically by applying shadows so there is lightness to darkness or vice-versa all over the painting. It is also asymmetrically balanced. The focal point is represented by the light area in the middle ground framed by the dark hues. The depth is proportional where the figures in the foreground appear much larger than those in the background.

Works Cited

Francis V. OConnor. "Rivera, Diego." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 18 Mar. 2010 <http://hermes.sac.alamo.edu:2104/subscriber/article/grove/art/T072302>. Hall, J. Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art. HaperCollins Publisher, Inc. new York, New York. 1994. p. 18 Hall, J. Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art. HaperCollins Publisher, Inc. new York, New York. 1994. p. 30 Hall, J. Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art. HaperCollins Publisher, Inc. new York, New York. 1994. p. 143 Jan Gleiter and Kathleen Thompson. Raintree Hispanic Stories-Diego Rivera. Raintree Publishers. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1989. p. 22-24. Paz, O. Mexico Splendors of Thirty Centuries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bulfinch Press. New York, New York. 1991. p. 630. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sugar Cane. Collection Resources. 20 Mar. 2010 < http://www.philamuseum.org/education/resources/110.html?page=1> Sayre, H.M. A World of Art. Pearson Education Ltd. Rev. 4th ed. Saddle River, New Jersey. 2004. p. 137. Sayre, H.M. A World of Art. Pearson Education Ltd. Rev. 4th ed. Saddle River, New Jersey. 2004. p. 254.

NOTE: On March 19, 2010 at 4:19 P.M. the professor excuse me for do not have three books that talk about sugar cane painting.