José Clemente Orozco

José Clemente Orozco

Infobox Artist
name = José Clemente Orozco
Born =

imagesize = 200px
caption = José Clemente Orozco. "Photo Credit:" Edward Weston
birthname =
birthdate = birth date|1883|11|23|mf=y
location = Ciudad Guzmán, Mexico
deathdate = death date and age|1949|9|7|1883|11|23|mf=y
deathplace = Mexico City, Mexico
nationality = Mexican
field = Painting, Muralist
training = San Carlos Academy
movement = Social Realism
works =
patrons =
awards =

José Clemente Orozco (November 23, 1883 – September 7, 1949) was a Mexican social realist painter, who specialized in bold murals that established "Mexican Mural Renaissance" together with murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros, and others. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. Mostly influenced by "Symbolism", he was also a genre painter and lithographer. Between 1922 and 1948, Orozco painted murals in Mexico City, Orizaba, Claremont, California, New York City, Hanover, New Hampshire, Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Jiquilpan, Michoacán. His drawings and paintings are exhibited by the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City, and the Orozco Workshop-Museum in Guadalajara.cite web |title=Tragedy and Triumph: the Drama of José Clemente Orozco 1883 - 1949|url= |publisher=Mexico Connect |accessdate=2007-09-21]

Life and work

José Clemente Orozco was born in Zapotlán el Grande (now Ciudad Guzmán), Jalisco to Rosa de Flores Orozco. He married Margarita Valladares, and had three children.

José Guadalupe Posada, a satirical illustrator whose engravings about Mexican culture and politics challenged Mexicans to think differently about post-revolutionary Mexico, worked in full view of the public in shop windows located on the way Orozco went to school. In his autobiography, Orozco confesses, "I would stop [on my way to and from school] and spend a few enchanted minutes in watching [Posada] … This was the push that first set my imagination in motion and impelled me to cover paper with my earliest little figures; this was my awakening to the existence of the art of painting." (Orozco, 1962) He goes to say that watching Posado's engraving decorated gave him his introduction to the use of color. After attending school for Agriculture and Architecture, Orozco studied art at the San Carlos Academy.

With Diego Rivera, he was a leader of the "Mexican Mural Renaissance." An important distinction he had from Rivera was his critical view of the Mexican Revolution. While Diego was a bold, optimistic figure, touting the glory of the revolution, Orozco was less comfortable with the bloody toll the social movement was taking. Orozco is known as one of the "Big Three" muralists along with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. All three artists, as well as the painter Rufino Tamayo, experimented with fresco on large walls, and elevated the art of the mural.

Between 1922-1924, Orozco painted the murals: "The Elements", "Man in Battle Against Nature", "Christ Destroys His Cross", "Destruction of the Old Order", "The Aristocrats", and "The Trench and the Trinity" at the National Preparatory School. In 1925, he painted the mural "Omniscience" at Mexico City's House of Tiles. In 1926, he painted a mural at the Industrial School in Orizaba, Veracruz.

Between 1927-1934 Orozco lived in the USA. In 1930, he painted murals at the New School for Social Research, New York City, now known as the New School University. One of his most famous murals is "The Epic of American Civilization" at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA. It was painted between 1932 and 1934 and covers almost 300 m² (3200 square feet) in 24 panels. Its parts include: "Migrations", "Human Sacrifices", "The Appearance of Quetzalcoatl", "Corn Culture", "Anglo-America", "Hispano-America", "Science" and "Modern Migration of the Spirit" (another version of "Christ Destroys His Cross").

After returning to Mexico in 1935, Orozco painted in Guadalajara, Jalisco - among others - the mural "The People and Its Leaders" in the Government Palace, and the frescos for the Hospicio Cabañas, which are considered his masterpiece. In 1940 - for the Gabino Ortiz Library in Jiquilpan, Michoacán. Between 1942-44 - for the Hospital de Jesús in Mexico City. Orozco's 1948 "Juárez Reborn" huge portrait-mural was one of his last works.

Orozco died in 1949 in Mexico City.

The Dartmouth Mural

Jose painted this mural in the College hallway.


"¡Orozco!" by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico at The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1980


*Anreus, Alejandro. "Orozco in Gringoland: the Years in New York". University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque. 2001.
*Elliott, David, ed. Hurlburt, Laurance P. "The Mexican Muralists in the United States". University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque. 13-88. 1989.
*Orozco, Jose Clemente. "An Artist in New York: Letters to Jean Charlot and Unpublished Writings". Austin. 1974.
*Orozco, Jose Clemente. "An Autobiography". University of Texas Press. Austin. 1962.
*Reed, Alma. "Orozco". Oxford University Press. New York. 1956.


External links

* []
* [ "The Epic of American Civilization" at]
* [ "Prometheus", fresco mural; 20' x 28' 6", at]
* [ "Zapata", Oil on canvas; 178.4 x 122.6 cm, at]
* [ "Christ Destroying his Cross", Oil on canvas; 36 5/8 x 511/8 in., at]
* [ Man of Fire and other murals at Hospicio Cabañas]

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  • Jose Clemente Orozco — José Clemente Orozco Pour les articles homonymes, voir Orozco. José Clemente Orozco (Zapotlán el Grande aujourd hui Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, 23 novembre 1883 Mexico, 7 septembre 1949) est un peintre et muraliste mexicain social réaliste. Un de ses …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jose Clemente Orozco — José Clemente Orozco (* 23. November 1883[1] in Ciudad Guzmán; † 7. September 1949 in Mexiko Stadt) gilt als Begründer der zeitgenössischen mexikanischen Malerei. Er ist einer der Hauptvertreter des Muralismus und gehört neben David Alfaro… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • José Clemente Orozco — (1883 1949) Muralista y litógrafo mexicano, nacido en Zapotlán (Jalisco) y fallecido en Ciudad de México. Graduado en la Escuela Nacional de Agricultura, estudió más tarde matemáticas y dibujo arquitectónico. A los 26 años cobró interés por el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • José Clemente Orozco — Para el también muralista y jalisciense, por el apellido homónimo, véase Carlos Orozco. José Clemente Orozco Retrato de José Clemente Orozco hecho por Siqueiros y expuesto en el mural público del Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros, Ciudad de Méx …   Wikipedia Español

  • José Clemente Orozco — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Orozco. José Clemente Orozco Portrait d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • José Clemente Orozco — Murales Omnisciencia , 1925, Mexiko Stadt. José Clemente Orozco (* 23. November 1883[1] in Ciudad Guzmán; † 7. September 1949 in Mexiko Stadt) gilt als Begründer der zeitgenössischen mexikanischen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jose Clemente Orozco — noun Mexican painter noted for his monumental murals (1883 1949) • Syn: ↑Orozco, ↑Jose Orozco • Instance Hypernyms: ↑muralist …   Useful english dictionary

  • José López Orozco — José Clemente López Orozco Alcalde de Lugo Actualmente en el cargo Desde el 4 de julio de 1999 Predeces …   Wikipedia Español

  • Orozco, José Clemente — born Nov. 23, 1883, Ciudad Guzmán, Mex. died Sept. 7, 1949, Mexico City Mexican mural painter. When he lost his left hand at 17, he abandoned architectural studies for painting, pursuing Mexican themes. As a caricaturist for a revolutionary paper …   Universalium

  • Orozco, José Clemente — ► (1883 1949) Pintor mexicano. Autor de las pinturas murales de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, Casa de los Azulejos, Palacio de Bellas Artes, en México; de la Universidad y Palacio del Gobierno en Guadalajara; de la New School of Social… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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