Fine Arts In The Modern World

1. Look closely at Diego Rivera’s fresco Liberation of the Peon (1931; figure 34.7).  Rivera was one of the three Mexican artists whom the government commissioned after the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution to paint murals focused on Mexican history (see

After reading the information in your textbook plus additional REPUTABLE online texts on the artist as well as the Mexican Revolution (see:, and,, describe the fresco in detail and explain its role as an educational tool for the people (minimum of 75 words).


2. The 20th century and modern art are characterized by an expansion of art media.  One of the foremost and most influential media of the 20th century is film.  On YouTube (see links below), please, watch the final speech of Charlie Chaplin’s character in the Great Dictator (1940; about 4.4 minutes), and then watch the first 10 minutes of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1934; figure 34.13, p. 423 in your textbook).

BEFORE WATCHING BOTH CLIPS and BEFORE WRITING YOUR RESPONSE to this assignment, you are REQUIRED to READ the information in your textbook as well as REPUTABLE online information about BOTH FILMS.  Knowledge about the films will help you to understand better what you see.  While it would be preferable to watch the films in their entirety, this requires several additional hours, and thus, it is not mandatory; however, please, allow me to recommend the Chaplin movie to you!

After having gained more knowledge, compare and contrast the effect of each clip on the viewer.  Who initialized each film and what purpose did each filmmaker have in mind?  Pay special attention to the film techniques invented and implemented by Leni Riefenstahl and the manipulative effects on the contemporary (i.e. 1934) German audience.  How does each film influence its audience?  Again, make sure that you educate yourself regarding both films.  You need to understand the contents and the purpose of each film before answering and writing your response.   Write 150 words.

Final Speech in Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940:

Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1934) – watch the first 10 minutes of the film (from the beginning): on the style in comparison to late Italian Medieval frescoes, especially Giotto’s Lamentation (see the moma-site quoted above) and relate Rivera’s revolutionary painting to Christian imagery of the Crucifixion of Christ and the Deposition from the Cross.  What effect did Rivera’s art works have on Mexico’s self-image?  Your answer needs to contain information about Mexico’s history at the time.   Write a minimum of an additional 75 words.


3. According to Fiero, which artist in chapter 35 commented on “matters of alienation, social injustice, and the failure of communication in modern life” (this is a quote from your textbook which you are asked to retrieve to answer this question)?   List the name of the artist, the title, date, and the figure number in Fiero, and referring to the work by the artist illustrated in Fiero, explain how the artist accomplishes this in two sentences (minimum).

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