Rafael Coronel (born 24 October 1932 in Zacatecas, Zac.) is a painter from Mexico. He was the son-in-law of Diego Rivera. His representational paintings have a melancholic sobriety, and include faces from the past great masters, often floating in a diffuse haze. There are some paintings of his own in Mexico and in other countries. In what was the convent of San Francisco De Almoloyan y De Asis (a building from the 16th century), located in Zacatecas, there is a museum named after him; in this museum, his vast mask collection is shown.
The younger brother of Pedro Coronel, Rafael felt artistic inclinations since his earliest years. He studied in Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda", and he quickly developed a unique artistic vocabulary. Although his paintings are about popular themes, we cannot say that his pieces are spontaneous.
The vocation of being a painter was something Rafael inherited. His grandfather used to decorate churches: he used to paint the decorations all over the walls of the churches. When his father told him that Pedro, his brother, was studying to become a painter in Mexico city, he thought it was a great waste of time. Even the greatest painters in Mexico had to rely on other jobs.