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Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park

Diego Rivera

Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park

Diego Rivera
  • Date: 1948
  • Style: Muralism
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Media: fresco

Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central or Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central is a mural created by Diego Rivera. It was painted between the years 1946 and 1947, and is the principal work of the Museo Mural Diego Rivera adjacent to the Alameda in the historic center of Mexico City.

The mural was originally created at the request of architect Carlos Obregón Santacilia, and displayed in the Versailles restaurant at the hotel Prado. When the hotel was destroyed in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the mural was restored and moved to its own museum.

The mural depicts famous people and events in the history of Mexico, passing through the Alameda Central park in Mexico City. Some notable figures include Frida Kahlo, José Guadalupe Posada, Francisco I. Madero, Benito Juárez, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Porfirio Díaz, Agustín de Iturbide, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Maximilian I of Mexico, Juan de Zumárraga, Antonio López de Santa Anna, Winfield Scott, Victoriano Huerta, José Martí, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Hernán Cortés, Nicolás Zúñiga y Miranda, and La Malinche.

The central focus of the mural is on a display of bourgeois complacency and values shortly before the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Elegantly dressed upper-class figures promenade under the figure of the long ruling dictator Porfirio Díaz. An indigenous family is forced back by police batons and to the right flames and violence loom. To the far left, victims of the Inquisition, wearing the penitential sanbenito robes and the conical coroza hat, are consigned to the flames at an auto-da-fé. The center of the mural is dominated by the elegantly dressed skeleton La Calavera Catrina holding arms with the Mexican graphic artist who first conceived and drew her, José Guadalupe Posada in a black suit and cane. La Catrina wears a Feathered Serpent boa around her shoulders. On La Catrina's right she is holding hands with a child version of Diego Rivera in short pants. Rivera's wife Frida Kahlo is standing just behind and between him and La Catrina; Kahlo has her hand on Rivera's shoulder and she is holding a yin-yang device. La Malinche and Posada are staring directly into each other's eyes.

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