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Marnham, Patrick

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ISBN 10: 0520224086 / ISBN 13: 9780520224087
Published by Berkeley, University of California Press, 1st Printing, 2000
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover

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About this Item

///. NEAR-FINE (prev.owner's bookplate) in illustrated wraps. 8vo, trade paperback, 350pp, index, chronology. Illustrated with b/w and color photographs. (ART). ++We pack carefully & ship promptly.++ 0.0 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 502499

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Bibliographic Details

Title: DREAMING WITH HIS EYES OPEN: A Life of Diego...

Publisher: Berkeley, University of California Press, 1st Printing

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: 1st Edition......

About this title


This engrossing biography of Diego Rivera, the brilliant Mexican artist and revolutionary, captures the explosively passionate nature that made Rivera one of the twentieth-century's most gifted and controversial painters.


What confidence and ambition it requires to approach a biography of Diego Rivera, the larger-than-life Mexican muralist who in recent years has been reduced, in some circles, to being known as Frida Kahlo's evil husband. The myths and mysteries begin at his birth, in 1884. His mother seemed to die just after Diego, a firstborn twin, emerged, and her body was laid out for burial, until an old servant insisted she was still breathing. She recovered fully (Diego's twin died at age 2). This macabre event was but the first in a fabulously eventful life.

Under the brutal regime of the dictator Porfirio Díaz, whose legacy included human slavery on an unprecedented scale, Mexico City became "The Paris of the Americas," with imperial palaces, European music, and decorations by artists who had studied under Ingres. "It was in this exuberant, chaotic, and occasionally dangerous world that Diego Rivera grew up," writes Patrick Marnham, who casts a spell of such strangeness, beauty, and black humor that the reader is utterly hooked by the end of the first few pages. Marnham repeats and analyses all the fables Rivera spun about himself and his family; he describes Rivera's enchantment with Italian fresco cycles and his friendship and rivalry with Picasso in Montmartre in the 1920s; he reports Rivera's countless amorous conquests; and he presents the supposedly feminist view of Rivera as a monster of appetite, arrogance, and authority. Marnham also does an excellent job of picking apart the personal, political, and artistic threads of the disastrous brouhaha over Rivera's Rockefeller Center murals. In prose that is poetically rich and frequently tinged with not-so-gentle irony, he has written a thoroughly believable book about an all but unbelievable life. --Peggy Moorman

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