Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico in 1907. While convalescing after a near fatal bus accident at the age of 18, she begin to paint. The accident left her a partial invalid and resulted in a lifetime of pain and suffering. She painted The Broken Column in 1944 as a symbol of her broken body held together by corsets. We see tears streaming down her face. The landscape in the background is barren and desolate possibly symbolizing her inability to bear children as a result of the accident.
She is known for her use of bold and vibrant colors in her many self portraits (of her 143 paintings, 55 are self portraits). In her art, she depicts not only the physical pain she endured, but also her emotional pain. She had a turbulent relationship with her husband, the Mexican muralist and fellow artist Diego Rivera.
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird was painted in 1940 after her divorce for Diego. (they were married twice). Pictured with a dead hummingbird, Frida Kahlo wears a a necklace of thorns around her neck, piercing her skin and drawing blood. It is a painting of suffering, yet through her calm expression, she displays her ability to endure. Loneliness is a theme in many of the artist’s works.
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