MOSAICS

The ceilings of the Anahuacalli have been embellished with mosaics in which Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman conveyed a symbology that unifies antiquity with the modern world.

Diego Rivera designed a series of twenty-three mosaics that span the ceilings of the Anahuacalli. Together with Juan O’Gorman, the painter conceived of his own technique in order to complete them, consisting of directly positioning cartoons with his sketches over the wood falsework. Over these cartoons, the bits of stone were adhered with a glue emulsion, following the image that the painter had created. Then, the gaps were filled with mortar stone in order to fix them in place. Once all of this was dry, the falsework and cartoon were withdrawn and the image, corrected.

The mosaics of the Anahuacalli Museum follow a pre-Hispanic worldview of dualities along a trajectory that leads from darkness into the light. Thus, those of the ground floor of the building were completed in black and white, while those of the upper floors are composed of multi-colored stones brought in from Taxco, the latter having been furnished by the friends and relatives of Diego Rivera.

The mosaics of the Anahuacalli may be read as a codex; in them may be found the cosmogony that Diego Rivera wished to display in his temple-museum as part of a dialogue with visitors and the art of his time. In them, we find elements such as the serpent Quetzalcoatl, the jaguar, and the frog, all inspired by ancient figures from the codices, updated accordingly in keeping with the painter’s conception.

The ceilings of the Anahuacalli have been embellished with mosaics in which Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman conveyed a symbology that unifies antiquity with the modern world.

Diego Rivera designed a series of twenty-three mosaics that span the ceilings of the Anahuacalli. Together with Juan O’Gorman, the painter conceived of his own technique in order to complete them, consisting of directly positioning cartoons with his sketches over the wood falsework. Over these cartoons, the bits of stone were adhered with a glue emulsion, following the image that the painter had created. Then, the gaps were filled with mortar stone in order to fix them in place. Once all of this was dry, the falsework and cartoon were withdrawn and the image, corrected.

The mosaics of the Anahuacalli Museum follow a pre-Hispanic worldview of dualities along a trajectory that leads from darkness into the light. Thus, those of the ground floor of the building were completed in black and white, while those of the upper floors are composed of multi-colored stones brought in from Taxco, the latter having been furnished by the friends and relatives of Diego Rivera.

The mosaics of the Anahuacalli may be read as a codex; in them may be found the cosmogony that Diego Rivera wished to display in his temple-museum as part of a dialogue with visitors and the art of his time. In them, we find elements such as the serpent Quetzalcoatl, the jaguar, and the frog, all inspired by ancient figures from the codices, updated accordingly in keeping with the painter’s conception.