Night of the Rich is a fresco painted by Mexican artist Diego Rivera during the country’s revolutionary period in 1928. The mural, which spans an entire wall, expresses Rivera’s disdain towards the rich and capitalists, and is based on Marxist principles. Rivera aimed to create a new national art that would decorate public buildings in Mexico and reflect revolutionary themes.
One of the most striking features of this mural is its size. Measuring about 10 by 25 feet, it portrays wealthy people socializing at night while unclothed indigenous servants wait on them. Rivera uses color to contrast the luxurious attire of the wealthy with the drab clothing of their servants, emphasizing their class divide. He portrays capitalism as immoral by depicting decadent characters engaging in frivolity while workers suffer.
Diego Rivera was an outspoken member of the Mexican communist party and husband to famed painter Frida Kahlo. His mural cycle spans Mexican history and highlights Marxist interpretations of class conflict – which were prevalent during his time in Mexico when socialist ideas were popularized through a series general strikes throughout various Mexican industries. Through his art, he aimed to promote post-revolutionary Mexican culture and national identity.
Night of The Rich is not only revered for its artistic qualities but also for how it reflects societal issues back then such as Party Politics (Communism Vs Capitalism), revolutionaries’ struggles against powerful monopolies and government authorities from within Mexico; alike other murals created by Diego Rivera such as Night Of The Poor or Man at The Crossroad which filled New York City’s landmark Rockefeller Center before it got deliberately destroyed amidst political turmoil with Nelson Rockefeller because he found Communism ‘anti-American.’