What the Water Gave Me (1938) by Frida Kahlo

What the Water Gave Me - Frida Kahlo - 1938

Artwork Information

TitleWhat the Water Gave Me
ArtistFrida Kahlo
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions91 x 70.5 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationDaniel Filipacchi Collection, Paris, France

About What the Water Gave Me

The artwork “What the Water Gave Me” by Frida Kahlo, painted in 1938, is an oil on canvas piece. This work is affiliated with the Surrealism movement and measures 91 by 70.5 cm. Functioning as both a symbolic painting and a self-portrait, the artwork is part of the Daniel Filipacchi Collection, housed in Paris, France.

The artwork presents a complex and richly symbolic composition. At first glance, it resembles a depiction of a woman’s feet protruding from a bathtub. However, upon closer examination, the water surface becomes a tableau of various scenes and objects that mirror Kahlo’s personal life experiences, her physical pain, her political beliefs, and her Mexican heritage. There are representations of various figures, natural forms, and architectures intermingled with anatomical elements, which allude to the surreal blending of reality and fantasy. The interconnectedness of these elements suggests the depth of Kahlo’s inner world and the way in which external reality and internal thoughts and emotions are interwoven into her psyche. The painting arguably stands not only as a visual narrative of Kahlo’s life but also as a testament to her unique artistic vision that transcends the traditional boundaries of self-portraiture.

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