Along with Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco is considered one of the three great muralists of the Mexican Muralism movement (1920-50). In the 1930s the government of the state of Jalisco invited Orozco to paint murals on the walls of the main chapel area of the building, which he did between 1936 and 1939.
There are 57 frescoes painted by Orozco in the main chapel of the Cabañas Institute. The most impressive of the murals is in the chapel's cupola. Called El Hombre de Fuego ("Man of Fire"), the central figure is a man ascending in flames, surrounded by figures in shades of grey representing the natural elements. Man of Fire is considered by many to be a masterpiece of 20th century mural painting.