The Two Fridas (1939) by Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas - Frida Kahlo - 1939

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Two Fridas
ArtistFrida Kahlo
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions173.5 x 173 cm
Art MovementNaïve Art (Primitivism)
Current LocationMuseo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
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About The Two Fridas

The double self portrait painted by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in 1939 displays two Fridas in opposite circumstances. On the left side, Frida is wearing traditional Mexican dress, with a broken heart being held by her hands. The right side features a modern Frida in European garments, symbolising her inner strength as she holds a complete beating heart. This painting represented how deeply hurt she was during her divorce from Diego Rivera and how their love for each other brought them back together. With an enormous canvas size of 6ft wide and 4ft tall, this was the largest painting Kahlo ever created. In addition, both figures hold hearts that have American flags on them to illustrate their mixed heritage.

Frida Kahlo also expressed this same sentiment of love and unity in another portrait ten years later entitled ‘The Love Embrace of the Universe, The Earth (Mexico), Me, and Senor Xolotl’ (1949). In this piece Kahlo stands between her husband Diego Rivera, where his name Xolotl represents his ancient Mixtec ancestry and the Universe itself, displaying love as all-encompassing and without limitation. Both pieces display Kahlo’s conviction in celebrating their cultural heritage despite any hardships they encountered in life.

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