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The Cover
December 8, 2004

Structural Study for a Mural

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(22):2695. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2695

The universe of the Guatemalan painter and printmaker Carlos Mérida (1891-1984) was full of echoes, of shapes, patterns, colors, peoples, civilizations long disappeared. He followed the echoes wherever they led, from music into painting, from Guatemala City to Paris, from Paris to Mexico City. He was a friend of Picasso, of Modigliani, of Kees van Dongen. He worked briefly with Diego Rivera on a mural, but even then he knew he preferred easel painting to mural painting. He is ranked with Tamayo and Matta as among the greatest of the Latin American artists. In the end, his life was like the circle of the dance: his end was in his beginning, his beginning in the long disappeared Maya peoples who had once lived in his native land. In Paris, he had heard a music known to none and it was from that that he developed the unique style that is the offspring of ancient-American and modern-European art.

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