The mural in the stairwell of the National Palace was executed between 1929 and 1935 b. The subject of the mural is Mexico’s history from ancient times to the present.

In August 1929, Diego Rivera began painting his huge mural in the large stairways and stairwells of the National Palace, the center of the Mexican government and nation. The National Palace is located on the Zocalo, the central plaza in Mexico City, the place where Moctezuma, the Aztec king ruled Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish.

Part of Diego Rivera’s mural

The History of Mexico mural consists of four main sections. The murals are huge, some as big as 70 meters by 9 meters. The north wall displays the richness of the ancient Aztec culture including the people and their traditional costumes. The west wall is the central part of the murals and summarizes the history of Mexico as a series of conflicts, rebellions, and revolution against oppression. The South Wall is about the future of Mexico. It shows factories, the Soviet flag, workers, Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto, and an image of Rivera’s wife Frida Kahlo.

Diego Rivera’s mural depicting Mexico’s history in the main stairwell

In addition to promoting the Revolution, Rivera seems to emphasize the rich cultural heritage of Native Americans and the greatness of Mexican civilization before Spanish conquest. In the murals he tried to illustrate the true culture of Mexico with its bright colors, rich traditions, and old customs.

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