Diego Rivera – Artist, Womanizer, Canibal

Diego Rivera Oil PaintingsDiego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1886; his twin brother died a little over a year old and Rivera fell sick. On the advice of a doctor, the boy was sent to the mountains with his nanny, later boasting that she was the first of his many conquests. He established himself as a talented artist first drawing at age three. His father, wishing to spare the house walls decorated a room covered in paper for the child to paint on. Rivera would later say these were his first murals.

Rivera enrolled in an art school years later. He claimed that while a student, he and some friends decided to try cannibalism having heard that it would make them healthy and strong. The boys supposedly bought and ate cadavers making them strong and healthy. At that time Rivera started having affairs with women many years his senior. How these two subjects related in his mind are beyond me.

Though exenterated these stories are part of the legend Rivera built around himself. And it is true that, though he was an unattractive man with a frog-like face, he had considerable success with women throughout his life. Who needs looks when you have talent?

A large man of huge appetites, eating and drinking, he also indulged his craving for womanizing. In Spain he began living with Russian painter Angelina Beloff and had a son who died as a child. When Rivera left for Mexico he told Beloff he would send for her, but never did. Instead he moved to Paris and met another Russian, Marevna Vorobieva, who bore him a daughter. In addition to his womanizing ways he was also known for his volatile temper engaging in many fights with those who ridiculed his work when cubism came under attack. Unable to sell his art, he returned to Mexico, broke in 1921 their he met a special lady named Frida Kahlo.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.