Facts About Mexican Arts & Crafts History

Updated November 21, 2016

The art of Mexico has a long and colourful history. After the Spanish conquest, the introduction of European methods and materials lent itself to indigenous artistic traditions. The merging of the different cultures created a style of art that was uniquely Mexican.

Pre-Hispanic Art

The Ancient Web shows that the Olmec tribe built giant stone heads in honour of former leaders. Other tribes created statues to honour deities.

Colonial Spanish Art

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, painters created images of saints in oils on small pieces of metal or wood. Colonists used these paintings, called retablos, when asking for divine protection, according to the Mexican Retablos website.


Basket weaving has been a part of Mexican culture for thousands of years. The Mexico People and Crafts website notes that artisans used materials such as sugar cane and wicker for weaving baskets.


Weaving was an important part of native Mexican culture. The Mexican Textiles website indicates that native groups could identify members of other tribes by the pattern of their clothing.

Mural Art

Mural art became important after the Mexican Revolution. The Artchive website claims that Diego Rivera was one of the most influential artists of this time period.

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