Roberto Montenegro was born in February 1885 in Guadalajara and died in October of 1968 in Mexico City. Growing up during the Mexican Revolution he and his family moved to United Stated in 1910, but then returned to Mexico in 1920. Before the move to the United States he studied under Felix Bernardelli and later on he studied history and drawing at Academy of San Carlos. in 1907 he received a scholarship to study at the Academia de San Fernando in France. There he meant many people among the many was Picasso. After studying in France he became interested in Cubism. At the Academy of San Carlos Diego Rivera was a classmate of Roberto. Diego Rivera was one of the Mexican artists to be in the Mexican Mural Movement, along with him was Roberto. Even though Roberto was among the first artists in the movement, he spent most of his career making illustrations and portrait paintings.
One of Montenegro's most popular works of art was a mural located in the San Pedro Y San Pablo College. The "Tree of life" is the the title of the mural and it was created in 1922. The subject of the mural is the origin and destiny of man. One of the influences of this piece was the Guadalajara Tap-Dance.
Another popular work of art by Montenegro was another mural in the same building called The Festival of the Holy Cross. This murals subject was the Festival of may 3rd, which was a holiday celebrated by bricklayers and stonemasons. This mural was unfortunately painted of and lost. Scholars say that the mural was done in a style that almost directly represents Diego Rivera's style.