Appreciating Latin American Art

Contributor: Tara Ondra. Lesson ID: 13178

You've probably heard of DaVinci, Monet, Van Gogh, or Picasso. But have you heard of Diego Rivera, Roberto Matta, or Oswaldo Guayasamín? Let's discover Latin American Art!


Visual Arts, World Cultures

Fine Arts
learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you recognize any of these paintings? What does each painting represent? What can we learn about the artist and his or her culture from the painting?

  • Move the slider beneath the white circles to view all eight images.

To understand art, we must first understand the origins of the master behind each work. The pieces you saw above were all painted by Latin Americans.

  • So, what is Latin America?

Latin America refers to the Spanish or Portuguese nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. In total, there are 33 countries with distinct cultural, geographical, and political realities.

map of Latin America

  • What defines Latin American art?
  • How is it different from art in other regions of the world?

As with art in any part of the world, Latin American art is a reflection of the society in which the artist lives, including culture, religion, and politics. A differentiating factor in Latin America is the unifying trend among these countries in their history of conquest, slavery, and imperialism. Likewise, these countries are unified today in confronting the challenges of underdevelopment, environmental degradation, poverty, and inequality. Additionally, the unique blend of indigenous, European, and African cultures of each country is apparent in Latin American art.

  • Who are the masters of Latin American art?

Let's look at a few contemporary (1900s - today) painters.

  • Which were your favorites?
  • Had you heard of any of these painters before?

If you think you get it, click NEXT to continue with the Got It? section.

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