This mural is located on the platform of the Auditorium (Paraninfo) Enrique Díaz de León in Museo de las Artes de la Universidad de Guadalajara (Museum of Arts of the University of Guadalajara). Its structure is based on the opposition of leaders and the masses. The "mass" are skeletal, mute and blind men who raise their arms in protest against the "leaders", dressed as workers (with overalls), of grotesque appearance, which in turn repel the attack of the enraged people. It is composed of three panels: left, central and right.

The podium’s murals did not report significant alterations in relation to the sketches that envisioned them. A constant feature is the deathly pale boy that lies alongside the miserables, a group that was reduced to a third of the members in its last aspect.

The raging mass already cried out on paper, which captured their forms and silhouettes from the very start. On the mural, the increase of their dimensions also contributed to intensify the echo of their protests. In midst of the turmoil, an individual lying down stands out, who will later be presented blind with a bandage.
The false leaders display their indifference to the people’s demands even on the sketches. With the use of weapons and the argument of theories, they expect to conserve their power.

Orozco knew all about the theories of proportion and composition, the golden ratio and the dynamic rectangles of Hambidge. He understood that calculation and geometry were not enough to obtain the equilibrium and beauty for an artwork. And he knew that to achieve genius it was necessary to break the rules. Orozco saw fire as energy, as a devastating and transforming force. Here he represented fire as burning flames or as a blood red canvas.


  • Title: The People and their False Leaders
  • Creator: José Clemente Orozco
  • Date Created: 1935/1937
  • Physical Dimensions: 10.36 m x 8.55 m x 2.75 m
  • Type: Mural painting
  • Medium: Fresco
  • Art Movement: Arte moderno
  • Support: Clay on wall

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