Art: Cross-Eyed Conqueror

In his sprawling mural cavalcades of Mexican history, Diego Rivera has painted at least four portraits of Conquistador Hernando Cortés, always as a handsome, broad-shouldered hero. Last week Rivera fans, examining his latest addition to the murals in Mexico City's National Palace, met a new character, a cross-eyed, hunch backed, bowlegged cretin. "It's Sancho Panza," was their immediate reaction.

Nonsense, barked Rivera, "It's Cortes." "I have been a victim of history," explained Rivera, whose lowbrowed Cortés fits current Mexican Nationalist versions of the Spanish adventurer. "All the pictures of Cortés that historians have...

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