José Clemente Orozco, one of the greatest exponents of Mexican muralism, was born on November 23, 1883 in Zapotlán el Grande, now Ciudad Guzmán, in the state of Jalisco. Son of Ireneo Orozco and María Rosa Flores, he moved to Mexico City at the age of seven. He enrolled in the School of Agriculture and later attended the National Preparatory School. However, his true passion and vocation will be working on the composition of lines, mastering the stroke of drawing, and finding expressiveness in painting.
In his autobiography, Orozco relates that his fascination for art began when he would stop near his house, where there was a printing press, to look at the engravings of José Guadalupe Posada on his way home from school. It is not strange, then, that after taking night classes in drawing, José Clemente Orozco ended up enrolled in the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts.
José Clemente Orozco works as a caricaturist and illustrator in magazines and newspapers, always painting and learning, and thus inaugurates his first exhibition at the Biblos bookstore in Mexico City. Linked by ties of ideological affinity and by the very nature of his artistic work to Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo, José Clemente Orozco is one of the creators who, in the fertile interwar period, made Mexican pictorial art flourish thanks to his original creations, marked by avant-garde pictorial tendencies and by an ideology that called for historical and social awareness.
Mexico is plagued and is distinguished by his very outstanding works such as the series of murals he does for the National Preparatory School on the conquest, colonization, and the Mexican Revolution, the murals in the Palace of Fine Arts and the Supreme Court of Justice, in addition to his various series in important institutions in the city of Guadalajara, such as the Government Palace, the University and the Hospicio Cabañas. In 1946 José Clemente Orozco was awarded the National Arts Prize. Three years later, on September 7, 1949, he died in Mexico City. José Clemente Orozco is buried in the Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres.
"Art is something indefinable, even for those who have the capacity to create it". - José Clemente Orozco's famous phrase.
The best and most famous murals by José Clemente Orozco are "Omniscience" (this mural is located in the Blue Tile House, in Mexico City), "Man in Flames", "Prometheus", "Dartmouth", and "Katharsis".