Every May 10th Venezuela celebrates the National Day of the Artist in homage to Venezuelan painter, Armando Reverón, who was born on this date in 1889. This year was a particularly special commemoration, however, as the remains of Reverón and Communist painter and writer, César Rengifo, were transferred to the national Pantheon of Heroes in Caracas.
Both greats of the Venezuelan art world, Reverón broke with the elitist conventional art academy in favour of painting Venezuelan identity and reality, using local models and lanscapes, while poet, playwright and painter Rengifo made socially conscious theatre from unconventional spaces such as public quares, prisons and hospitals. His political beliefs led him to enlist with the International Brigades that fought against Franco’s fascist army in Spain’s civil war.
This Tuesday, the remains of both men were taken to the National Pantheon of Heroes, where they were ceremoniously laid to rest alongside Venezuelan independence figures such as Simón Bolivar, el Cacique Gauicaipuro and Juana Ramírez La Avanzadora.