Los Tres Grandes: Mexican Muralism

Los Tres Grandes, or The Big Three, were three Mexican men who were very important to Mexican Muralism, an art movement in Mexico in the 1920s. Mexican Muralism began after the Mexican Revolution when the people of Mexico fought back against dictator Porfirio Diaz. The rules of the latter were unfair to the manual laborers and more impoverished people of Mexico. At the end of the Mexican Revolution, artists were commissioned, or paid, to make murals in Mexico’s public spaces to teach everyone, even people who could not read or write, about the Mexican Revolution and Mexico’s history.

Many muralists were commissioned to do this work, but three of the most famous muralists are known as “Los Tres Grandes,” Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Their murals focused on the common, everyday heroes of Mexico. This was so important because art usually pictures white, European, wealthy, famous, kings or queens, people at parties, or beautiful clothes. Art does not usually show people in pain, wars, or everyday people doing everyday things, like grocery shopping or working at a coffee shop.

But Siqueiros, Rivera, Orozco, and other Mexican muralists focused on the non-European, non-white heroes, for example, the indigenous people of Mexico fighting the conquistadors, factory workers, the common laborers of Mexico City, farmers, and more. By celebrating the Mexican people in murals in public places, The Big Three made art that appealed to everyday people.

Just like The Big Three, make an art project starring an everyday person you don’t see in famous artworks, like people who work in the supermarket, plumbers, mail carriers, garbage workers, waiters and waitresses, and other people who always make sure that things continue to run normally for us. This is especially important during the pandemic because they continue to work even though they are putting themselves at risk!

This project is one in a series of virtual classes exploring Latinx Artists, hosted on Facebook Live at 1:30pm on Saturdays. Materials and instructions are posted here afterward. Tune into the live classes to ask questions, give suggestions, and interact with other students who are stuck at home!

If you want to watch the live video recording, check out our Facebook page or Youtube channel!


  • a blank piece of paper
  • something to draw with
  • something to write with


  1. Pick someone who you want to honor in your artwork. For this project, try to choose someone you don’t usually see in art but works hard every day to make life normal for everyone else. For example, like people who work in the supermarket, plumbers, mail carriers, garbage collectors, waitresses, or anyone else you can think of!
  2. You can look up pictures online or draw someone you see every day in your life. Draw them on a piece of paper.
  3. Color it in!
  4. On the back of the paper, write the person you drew a thank you letter and let them know how much you appreciate everything they do for others! If you can safely give it to that person, you should!

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