Palacio de Bellas Artes

This place is incredible. The architecture is fascinating. The exterior of the building is primarily Art Nouveau and Neoclassical and the interior is primarily Art Deco, giving an interesting contrast.  Its first incarnation was built in the late 19th century, but it was soon decided to tear it down in favour of a more opulent building in time for the Centennial of the Mexican War of Independence in 1910. 

It passed through various phases during its construction, turning out to be a beautiful architectural masterpiece.

One of the famous murals inside is Diego Rivera’s El hombre en el cruce de caminos (Man at the Crossroads), originally commissioned for New York’s Rockefeller Center. The Rockefellers had the original destroyed because of its anti-capitalist themes, but Rivera re-created it here in 1934.

This is part of the famous mural painted by Diego Rivera where Lenin appears.
Full picture of El hombre en el cruce de caminos

There are murals by other famous Mexican painters here such as Rufino Tamayo’s México de hoy (Mexico Today) and Nacimiento de la nacionalidad (Birth of Nationality), a symbolic depiction of the creation of the mestizo (mixed ancestry) identity; David Alfaro Siqueiros’ three-part La nueva democracia (New Democracy); and, Rivera’s four-part Carnaval de la vida mexicana (Carnival of Mexican Life). There are 3 floors of exhibitions, the 4th floor was being refurbished at the time I was there.

The building itself is very peculiar and beautiful. You don’t expect to see such stunning art deco interiors contained within this art nouveau shell.

Around the corner from the Museo de Bellas Artes is the famous park Alameda.

The Alameda was a place of inspiration for Diego Rivera when he painted his famous Mural called El  Sueño de una Tarde Dominical.

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