Artist Portrait Analysis Essay on Frida Kahlo

Published: 2021-07-10 07:34:46
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Middlebury College
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The art displays Kahlo with some bleeding heart on her chest. Kahlo made the picture to show her pain from the effects of the divorce she had from Rivera. Also, the artist drew herself in a European attire in which she wore during her wedding to Rivera. Riveras Mexican costume shows that she was so much attracted to the Mexican culture. She shows herself in the American outfit to display how Rivera her husband was so strong and attached to the American nationalism. The portrait is backgrounded in a stormy sky which shows how everything was like a storm when she faced the divorce from his American husband. The bleeding heart shows how deep the divorce affected her heart to the extent of bleeding inside. The art critically displays the physical pain and tribulations that Kahlo passed through in her relationship with Rivera. The theme in the art shows the physical suffering and the metaphysical and the ambivalent attitude that Kahlo had on the accepted notions of fertility and womanhood (Kettenmann & Kahlo, 2008).

Kahlo seems to hold a small portrait of her husband who used to adore her in her hand. She wears a traditional Mexican attire which shows her deep love of the Mexican culture. The Mexican attire depicts that Kahlo was so indigenous. The Tehuana Kahlo indicates that she was rejected by her husband Rivera whom she holds his portrait in her hands. In the two portraits, both Tehuana Kahlo and the American Kahlo hold objects in their palms. The American Kahlo holds forceps which are used to cut the main vessel that supplies blood to the body of the two Kahlos. It shows that Kahlo the European misses some important piece of herself, the main vessel that supplies blood to her body. She expresses her storms during her married life and the end of her love with Rivera. Frida tries to distinguish her two personalities with her the loved Kahlo with the Tehuana dress and the Kahlo that was rejected by Rivera in a white Victorian dress. In the American Victorian dress, the heart of Kahlo is broken showing that she was heartbroken by her lover Rivera. On the other hand, Kahlo reveals that she was a woman who could not hide her feelings by displaying her heart in both of the two portraits. The holding of hands by the two Kahlo shows that she had no companion and Friday was her companion (Dadvar et al., 2013). She tries to communicate that Mexican Kahlo is faithful in her love while the American Kahlo is so disappointing and ruthless because of the portrait that she holds in the Mexican Kahlo and the contrary of American Kahlo holding forceps that cut the blood vessel which puts a threat to her life.

In the portrait, Kahlo displays herself in Tehuana dress which Diego used to love her in it. The spilling of blood on the White wedding cloth that Kahlo revealed show that Kahlos love was betrayed by adultery and divorce which caused an explicit destruction on her life. The portrait has some beautiful color: Magenta which stands for the Aztec the oldest and the brightest. The different colors and different clothes: the Tehuana Mexican cloth and the Victorian American material display how she disliked America after her husband gained popularity and engaged in adulterous behavior that lead to their divorce. Also, the specific kind of clothes shown in the portrait indicates that during the 29th century, a particular clothing style was well identified, the Victoria dress. The elements of indigenous art are the kind of clothes that are shown in her portrait. The kind of Tehuana cloth that was mostly worn in Mexico indicates that the artist was an indigenous Mexican (Latimer, 2008).

Being married to Diego Rivera affected Kahlo since she was made to stay under the compelling reasons that Diego was famous in the American nation and could not move to Mexico even after Kahlo became homesick. Kahlo used to get upset with the fame that Diego had gathered in America and made her develop instincts that Diego was unfaithful. Each of her art was directed towards how she felt that Diego was an immoral man. The fame that Diego gathered made Kahlo direct her divorce saying and blamed Diego for the divorce. Also, the fame that Diego had made Kahlo develop too much concern for the love she had for her husband, Diego. Yes, the modern American Attire shows that she was connected to a famous artist since it seems to be an expensive clothing of 20th century (Lindauer, 2011).

The painting is an outstanding piece of art since it shows feelings that are well explanatory. The two photos of the same person show a change in personality that can be interpreted by the view of things that Kahlo holds in her hands. Also, the two photos show a change of life and the consequences which are shown as the bleeding heart which is geared by the external factors represented by the knife. On the other hand, the piece of art suggests that it is good to reveal what the heart feels notwithstanding the fact that the facial expressions cannot be able to tell.


Kettenmann, A., & Kahlo, F. (2008). Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954: pain and passion. Taschen.

Dadvar, A. A., Kamarzarrin, H., & Mansorvar, R. (2013). Examining Frida Kahlos self-portraits from the perspective of psychoanalysis. International Journal of Arts, 3(2), 11-17.

Lindauer, M. A. (2011). Devouring Frida: The art history and popular celebrity of Frida Kahlo. Wesleyan University Press.

Latimer, J. (2008). Unsettling Bodies: Frida Kahlo's Portraits and In/Dividuality 1. The Sociological Review, 56(2_suppl), 46-62.


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