Diego Rivera

Born: December 8, 1886

Died: November 24, 1957

Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera is credited with the reintroduction of fresco painting into modern art and architecture. He painted major murals in at the San Francisco Stock Exchange, California School of Fine Arts, Detroit Institute of Art, providing the first inspiration for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's WPA program.

The Book of Grass contains an account by the actor Errol Flynn telling how Rivera asked him whether he had ever heard music come from a painting. Then the artist proffered Flynn a marijuana cigarette, explaining, "After smoking this you will see a painting and you will hear it as well." Flynn tried it and had a fascinating experience, in which he heard the paintings "singing."

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