Fruits of the Earth (1938) by Frida Kahlo

Fruits of the Earth - Frida Kahlo - 1938

Artwork Information

TitleFruits of the Earth
ArtistFrida Kahlo
MediumOil on Masonite
Dimensions40.6 x 60 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationBanco de México Collection, Mexico City, Mexico

About Fruits of the Earth

“Fruits of the Earth” is an artwork by Frida Kahlo, crafted in 1938 using oil on Masonite. Showcasing elements of Naïve Art (Primitivism), this still-life measures 40.6 by 60 cm and currently resides in the Banco de México Collection in Mexico City, Mexico. As a still-life, the artwork narrates the bounty of nature through an intimate portrayal of various fruits and vegetables meticulously arranged.

The artwork features a rich assembly of produce that spans across the wooden surface it is presented on. At first glance, one might notice the striking textures and colors, from the smooth, waxy surfaces of squash to the segmented and grainy complexion of cut corn. There’s a platter centered in the composition, brimming with vibrant reds from sliced fruits, whose cut cross-sections reveal seeded chambers. The tactile nature of a hairy kiwano melon contrasts with the soft, supple appearance of doughnut-shaped pastries or perhaps fried foods, and the delicate fungal forms to its side. Each element within the arrangement is bathed in an earthy palette, illuminated by a diffuse overcast light that casts soft but evident shadows, indicating the presence of a diffusely lit surrounding.

The background, though more subdued, holds a partially clouded sky, hinting at the vastness beyond the immediate tableau. Keen attention to detail and the somewhat exaggerated forms of the fruits and vegetables suggest a profound admiration for nature’s produce, while also likely alluding to the life-giving sustenance of the earth. The wooden texture upon which the elements rest adds to the rustic and grounded feeling of the work, highlighting the direct connection between the harvest and its source. The positioning of items, along with the carefully chosen colors, textures, and lighting, culminates to create a sense of both harmony and immediacy, as though the viewer has stumbled upon this scene just after the harvest, witnessing the fresh bounty ready to nourish. This artwork encapsulates the simplicity and beauty found in agrarian life, while also possibly reflecting deeper personal or cultural significances inherent in Kahlo’s work.

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