The Palacio Nacional Mural is one of the most famous pieces of art by Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Located on the stairway of Mexico City’s National Palace, this monumental mural is one of the top art attractions in the city. This Diego Rivera mural in Mexico City depicts the history of the country, including the end of the Aztecs’ migration when they at least saw the symbol of an eagle standing on a cactus with a snake in its mouth, and settled in the area that is now Mexico City.
If you plan on visiting this mural at the National Palace, some research beforehand will help you to understand the significance of what you’re seeing, beyond the striking usage of color, and the massive size of the piece. For example, above the eagle, Rivera painted the men who are responsible for Mexico’s independence from Spain, including Father Miguel Hidalgo, Salvador Allende, and Jose Maria Morelos. Beyond these leaders are the important figures of the modern revolution, including Emiliano Zapata and Carillo Puerto.
This mural at the National Palace was a way for Diego Rivera to let his political affiliation be known. This piece of art is encouraging of Marxist principles, from subtle suggestions to more obvious components including Zapata and his fellow workmen holding a banner that in Spanish says “land and freedom.” The ancient civilizations are represented in the Diego Rivera mural in Mexico City as well, including the Aztec calendar stone.
One criticism of the Palacio Nacional Mural is Rivera’s tendency to exaggerate in favor of his people. He also chooses to rewrite history in small ways, such as portraying ancient Mexico as filled with peace and harmony. All of these components make for a fascinating mural, and as the scene continues up the staircase, you are sure to be impressed by Rivera’s skill. Located in the National Palace on the main square, the Zocalo of the Centro Historico, this is one of the top tourist attractions in historic Mexico City.