Aztecs and Mayans, painted on the walls of their temples and tombs. In Mayan culture one may find interesting paintings in Bonampak frescoes. The civilizations of pre-Hispanic Mexico recorded their histories, religious beliefs, and scientific knowledge in books called "codices". 
A main function of Aztec Art was to express religious and mythical concepts to legitimize the power of the State. This artistic language spoke predominantly through the form of iconographic symbols and metaphors. For example, the image of the eagle symbolized the warrior and the sun at its zenith. Images of serpents were linked to the gods Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli, and thus were represented as water or fire serpents, respectively. 
The Baroque style was developed also in New Spain in its Colonial era; although, it incorporated Indian decorative motifs. Religious paintings intended for churches and portraits of aristocrats were the current subject in this Colonial era. From the XVI to the XVIII Century, Mexican painting played an important didactic role; Because the colonists wanted to make a good impression, some of New Spain's finest artists were hired to paint casta cycles.  Miguel Cabrera (1695 - 1768), CristÃ³bal de Villalpando (ca. 1649 - 1714) and Juan Correa (1646 - 1716) are the best-known painters of New Spain. Baltasar Echave Rioja, Luis JuÃ¡rez, his son JosÃ© JuÃ¡rez and JosÃ© de Ibarra are also remarkable painters.
XIX and early XX Century
The two major representative figures of 19th-century Mexican landscape painting, Eugenio Landesio and JosÃ© MarÃa Velasco, met on one of their excursions to the countryside to do outdoor paintings of national landscapes. 
JoaquÃn Clausell is Mexico's best known Impressionist painter.
Some of the most important figures in this era are: Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Goitia, Frida Kahlo, Juan O'Gorman, Remedios Varo, Gunther Gerzso, Jose Luis Cuevas and Rafael Coronel, as well as Mexicoâs great muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
Tamayo painted on an easel and his models were the masters of Modern Art, Picasso, Cezanne, and Braque. His subjects, however abstractly treated, were Mexican to the core. 
Gunther Gerzso is best known for his geometric abstractions. In painting, Gerzso moved from Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.
The painting of Frida Kahlo may be classified as Surrealism or Magic Realism.
The Mexican Modernist School (and muralists) abandoned the solemn and detached art of Europe and instead embraced bold New World imagery full of color and human activity.  Some remarkable painters of this time are: Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and JosÃ© Clemente Orozco. Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl) is another important painter of this School, but he painted also traditional landscapes and contemporary art experiments.