|Man, Controller of the Universe|
|Location||Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City|
|Diego Rivera Famous Paintings|
|Man, Controller of the Universe, 1934|
|La Mujer del Pozo, 1913|
|En el Arsenal, 1928|
|Frozen Assets, 1931|
|The Flower Carrier, 1935|
|Agrarian Leader Zapata, 1931|
The original version of Man, Controller of the Universe by Diego Rivera was never seen by the public. That is because the man who commissioned it in 1932, billionaire Nelson Rockefeller, ordered it destroyed because the painting included an image of the Russian Revolution leader Vladimir Lennon.
Conflict between Artists and Patron
Rockefeller asked Rivera to eliminate the image of Lennon and replace it with any other face. Rivera refused, but offered to add the face of President Lincoln. The two men never agreed. Rockefeller paid Rivera’s full fee and then destroyed the painting – which was actually a long mural in two pieces made to be hung in Rockefeller Center.
The Second Version, a Masterpiece
Diego Rivera then painted a second version. This work, Man, Controller of the Universe is considered his most important work. It depicts the emergence of man into a new scientific and industrial age. The center of the image displays a robust man dressed in worker’s coveralls and wearing heavy gloves. His hand grasps a lever. Behind him is a part of a giant cog. What appear to be four wings splay out from this central figure. Inside each wing are transcendent scenes of stars and galaxies, but also biological organisms, including cells and bacterium.
On either side masses of humanity representing many facets of the human race are gathered and engaged in various activities, from marching soldiers to workers sitting on barrels and industrial pipes.