"..upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Diego Rivera, homage shall be paid to him in Europe by the mural painters of Cité Création."
The result can be seen below in a series of photos I took today here in Lyon of the spectacular mural paintings created in Rivera's honour by Lyon-based mural art specialist association Cité Création. The work consists of three mural paintings on the walls which enclose three sides of a public square, just next to a small park. The central element is this one, applied to the side wall of a building.
Next to this work and on a smaller wall at 90% to it is this rectangular mural.
And the building wall opposite the first one is host to the third and final element.
Each individual panel on the two building wall paintings, as well as the painting on the long rectangular wall, tells a story of a historical event era or phenomenon that Diego Rivera had adressed during his lifetime of painting. To help visitors, Cité Création also painted a pictorial and numbered guide for each wall, accompanied by explanatory text. Here is an example.
For those who don't read French however, I took a few close ups of individual panels and translated the descriptions of some of them. Here is a depiction of a major event in Mexican history. It is on the bottom left of the principal wall. 'Conquest and Christianisation. Scenes of religious conversions, forcible baptism or death for recalcitrants."
Next to it can be seen "The arrival of Hernan Cortés. The priest Pedro Alvarado, nicknamed 'the bloodthirsty redhead', gives back to Cortés the gold he has plundered..."
Over on the opposite, 'yellow' wall is a detail from this painting, bottom left, of "Workers. During the production phase of the Ford V8 engine at the Detroit factory."
On the bottom right of that same wall can be seen this almost Dantesque vision of "Carnival. Denounces the cupidity and corruption which reigns within Mexican politics. Diego Rivera caricatures certain governing figures as animals."
Finally, here's a detail from the rectangular wall. Unfortunately though, dear reader, I forgot to take a photo of the texts for that wall so I'm afraid we shall just have to wake up our neurones and use our imaginations to conjure up our own versions of what may be happening.
That homage to Rivera is situated less than a kilometre from where I am sitting, and it is just one of the dozens of other jumbo-sized mural paintings which are to be found all over Lyon and the surrounding areas (I took some photos of another one, and you can see them here). They were all painted by Cité Création. The association is an internationally-renowned organisation which employs dozens of painters in Lyon alone and it has painted or commissioned almost 600 mural paintings in countries all over the world.
But Cité Création doesn't just 'do paintings on walls', they fulfil a vital need here in Lyon and other major cities. City life can be exciting, but cities can also be soul-destroying at times, so these works - and it is difficult not to spot at least one during a random walk through the city - act as an effective antidote to some of the drab and depressing sights which are to be seen in any city. They are a colourful, inspiring, uplifting and informative mix of history and aesthetics. Every single mural tells a story of real people and events or imagines a better future.
They are the material of dreams.