Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Antonio Rivas Mercado. On this day, in the year 2019, it is his 166th birthday. He belongs to Mexico and known for his splendid architecture. His architecture was most spoken in the late 19th and 20th centuries. He trained himself up in Europe and came back home to restore all the historic buildings in his own country. With the goal to spread his knowledge, he worked at the National School of Fine Arts teaching students this marvelous art. Many of his architecture served as a landmark. The doodle depicts the most iconic  Monumento a la Independencia aka “El Ángel,” (The Angel) which is in downtown Mexico City.

Antonio Rivas Mercado

Antonio Rivas Mercado – Early Life:

Rivas Mercado was born in Tepic. His parents decided to send him to study in Europe at the age of 10. Eventually, he studied Fine Arts and Architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Finally, he returned to Mexico City in 1879 to practice as an architect and teach at the Schools of Engineering and Architecture (today part of the National Autonomous University of Mexico). Read more on the Google Doodle page.

Antonio Rivas Mercado – Contributions:

Among Rivas Mercado’s various projects are filled in the Wax Museum of Mexico City ; the restoration of haciendas of historical importance such as the Hacienda of Tecajete in the State of Hidalgo, and Chapingo in the State of Mexico; the customs building in Tlatelolco; the restoration of several government buildings including the facade of the Town Hall in Mexico City; and his own house in Mexico City, now preserved as a historical building. See also: About Fahrelnissa Zeid, an artist by profession.

Besides the Teatro Juárez in Guanajuato, which Rivas Mercado built between 1892 and 1903, is considered to be one of the finest buildings of the period. The neoclassical exterior and neo-Moorish interior are of his eclectic architectural style. Interestingly, in the year 1902, President Porfirio Díaz asked him to design and build the Independence Column on occasion of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. The project, along with sculptor Enrique Alciati, completed in 1910, the same year as the anniversary.

Furthermore, Rivas Mercado served as the Director of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City from 1903 to 1912. He established new methods of study and design.  In addition, it modified the curriculum of the “Architecture and Civil Engineering”. During his tenure, he managed to raise enough money to fund Diego Rivera‘s scholarship to study painting in Europe. He moved back to Paris shortly after his tenure ended. However, he returned to Mexico in 1926 and died a few months later in his home town itself. He was 74 when he passed away. See also the Quebec Winter Carnival and their amazing ice architecture.

 

Happy Birthday, Antonio Rivas Mercado!!

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