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A Revolution in MovementDancers, Painters, and the Image of Modern Mexico$
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K. Mitchell Snow

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066554

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066554.001.0001

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date: 08 December 2021

Mexicanism Russian Style

Mexicanism Russian Style

Roberto Montenegro, Diego Rivera, and the Ballets Russes

(p.36) 2 Mexicanism Russian Style
A Revolution in Movement

K. Mitchell Snow

University Press of Florida

The influence of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes saturated the artistic environment inhabited by Diego Rivera and Roberto Montenegro in Paris before World War I. In predecessors to the debates surrounding nationalism in Mexico, Diaghilev explored its intersections with folk art in the pages of his magazine Mir iskusstva. Montenegro studied with Diaghilev ally Hermen Anglada who urged his disciples to use elements from their nation’s folklore to escape the hegemony of Parisian modernism. Although Rivera disparaged the Ballet Russes’s influence on Mexican art, he painted his “Mexican trophy,” a cubist Zapatista landscape with a prominent serape, in response to an exhibit of Russian folk art that had been inspired by the success of Diaghilev’s dance company. Montenegro also cited this exhibition as one of the major influences in his decision to pursue Mexican folk art as a source of inspiration.

Keywords:   Serge Diaghilev, Ballets Russes, Roberto Montenegro, Diego Rivera, folk art, Mexican art, Mexican Trophy, Zapatista

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