Photo: First exhibition organized by the Seminary of Mexican Culture and installed in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, inaugurated on 20 November 1942. Frida Kahlo and appreciate the architect José Luis Cuevas (highest) among officials INBA. (Photograph unknown)
Frida Kahlo painted „The wounded table“ (La Mesa Herida - Der verwundete Tisch)
between end 1939 and January 1940. As in December 1939 the divorce from Diego Rivera became official, she reproduced her emotional pain in this painting.
This painting was created for the International Surrealist Exhibition in the Galería de Arte Mexicano in Mexico City in January 1940.
„The wounded table“ was subsequently shown in exhibitions in USA and Europe. It disappeared in 1955 on its way to an exhibition in Moscow.
In the painting Frida is surrounded by objects which represent one aspect of her emotional situation. She looks directly at the viewer, she wears her Tehuana clothes and jewelry. Her hair are open on one side.
A deep wound, no longer bleeding, can be seen on her neck.
Frida gives to the Nayarit figure on her left side, a cup containing her last drops of blood so the Nayarit can drink it.
Painting: The wounded Table, (La Mesa Herida),1940, Oil on Canvas 122 x 244 cm, Location unknown.
Licensed replica © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008,
Frida Kahlo: a secret revealed. Look for more about this painting:
…. and also here:
Nickolas Muray (15 February 1892 -
2 November 1965) was a Hungarian-born American photographer and Olympic fencer.
Muray attended a graphic arts school in Budapest, where he studied lithography, photoengraving, and photography. In 1913, with the threat of war in Europe, Muray sailed to New York City.
Muray quickly became recognized as an important portrait photographer, and his subjects included most of the celebrities of New York City. In 1926, Vanity Fair sent Muray to London, Paris, and Berlin to photograph celebrities, and in 1929 hired him to photograph movie stars in Hollywood. He also did fashion and advertising work. Muray's images were published in many other publications, including Vogue, Ladies' Home Journal, and The New York Times.
Between 1920 and 1940, Nickolas Muray made over 10,000 portraits. His 1938's portrait of Frida Kaho, made while Kahlo sojourned in New York, attending her exhibit at the Julien Levy Gallery, became the best known and loved portrait made by Muray.
“My Bartolí…I don’t know how to write love letters. But I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty…. love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain. You know, my sky, you rain on me and I, like the earth, receive you.
Mara” — Frida Kahlo, October 1946
Read more at http://observer.com/2015/04/passion-penned-frida-kahlos-intimate-love-letters-of-an-illicit-affair-up-for-sale/#ixzz3YG4hFCq7
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Josep Bartolí, the last love of Frida Kahlo. In 1946 Frida Kahlo wrote a letter to her friend Ella Wolfe, in which she asked, "not to talk to anyone about this topic".
This referred to her last great love, Josep Bartolíi (1910 - 1995), a Catalan painter. Frida Kahlo wrote about Josep Bartolí:
"He's the only reason that gives me the desire to live."
From 1946 to 1952 an intense love relationship grew between Frida Kahlo and Josep Bartolí, this love was known only to a few friends and accomplices.
Painting: Self portrait miniature, 1946, Oval Miniature on wood, 4,1 x 3,8 cm, Original: Private Collection, New York, USA; Licensed replica: ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
Photo: Josep Bartolí. Un creador a l'exili - DVD original que realiza la función de catálogo; Caricaturista político, dibujante, ilustrador, pintor, escritor…; DVD original que realiza la función de catálogo de una exposición propiciada por el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona durante los meses de diciembre de 2003 y enero de 2004. Producido por MetrònomLab
Josep Bartolí was a quiet man who kept the secret known only to few of his friends while Frida wrote to her friend Ella Wolfe in New York:
"No one here knows anything, only Cristi (Cristina, Frida´s sister), Enrique (Frida driver), you and I know the person who is at stake."
To further hide their relationship, she wrote to Ella:
"If you want to ask about him in your letters, ask for the name Sonja.''
At the end of the letter, Frida wrote:
"Don't forget to destroy this letter in order to avoid future misunderstandings. Will you promise that? ".
"Frida is the love of my life." Josep said of Frida; she is very sweet, loving, romantic. She is very intelligent and a great artist.
" You may say that I really love him " Frida wrote in her letter to Ella. Josep Bartolí kept all 40 letters of Frida throughout his life, one was able to recognize the letters of Frida by their perfume, and Josep Bartolí could repeat every word, every line of the letters by heart, as they were imprinted in his memory.
As Josep Bartolí died in 1995, his family found a chest with his memories of Frida: her hair ribbons, scarves, letters, sketches and a small medallion that Frida had painted and given to him.
On the back of the miniature Frida Kahlo wrote in red: CON AMOR PARA BARTOLI - MARA "For Bartoli, with love. Mara ". Mara was the secrete name Frida signed her love letters to Bartoli. Mara as "Maravilla" (Wonderful in Spanish).
The evolution of Frida Kahlo, from girl of good family to young spouse of Diego Rivera to becoming the most famous female artist of all times, can be followed in her art and her fashion.
The Frida Kahlo collection shows, through vintage photographs, the evolution of Frida’s style, and over 30 dresses as Frida used to wear and paint starting in 1940 when she was 33 years old.
Photos of Frida Kahlo and her family, taken by her father Wilhelm Kahlo, show that Frida came from a conservative family where the girls wore dresses in sailor style, ribbons in the hair and patent leather shoes.
As a young 18 year old woman, she dresses in a conservative fashion with a silk garment and white socks.
Meeting Diego Rivera brought a change in her style, and Frida Kahlo started to wear simple traditional Mexican dresses combined with extraordinary Maya necklaces and elaborated earrings, which Diego gave her as a present.
Over the years, Frida selected the Tehuana blouses (huipils) and dresses of the strong women of the Tehuantepec region as her favourite attire.
Photographic documentation illustrates that, starting in 1940 with the second marriage to Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo wears more exclusive, elaborate Huipils originated in small villages in the regions around Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla.
These dresses are a testimony of how Frida style became richer, more colourful and decorated, as with these highly embroderied dresses she wanted to hide the increasing disintegration of her body.
The dresses in the Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund collection already a rarity in the 1940’s, are the result of months long research from the Museum-Curators. Each piece is an original made in the villages in South Mexico where they were hand-vowen, hand embroidered by the ethnic women who still live in these villages.
Each piece in the collection has a unique story, here below are some of my favourite, not only because of the story connected to Frida wearing the identical dress, but also because of the story of finding them and showing them for the first time in the Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany.
Huipil from Huautla de Jiménez with black skirt as Frida Kahlo wore for her second wedding in San Francisco, 1940. This is an extremely rare cotton Huipil, hand embroidered with wool, decorated with lace, coloured satin ribbons, usually pink and blue.
The garment is divided into three squares at the top and three at the bottom. On the chest and on the back flowers and real size birds are embroidered. The neckline is adorned with a large collar of tulle and satin ribbons alternating blue and pink. Ribbons and lace decorate the sleeves.
The original Huipil is worn with a white cotton skirt with embroidered birds at the end of the skirt hold tightly at the waist with a large red cotton belt. Frida Kahlo used to wear it with a long black skirt.
Huautla de Jiménez (the name means “eagle nest”) is a village at 1700 mt with 30’000 inhabitants in the Mazatec region. It is seven hours journey by bus from Oaxaca on winding mountain roads.
# 72: Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940, # 82: Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Braid, 1941; Licensed replica: ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
Huipil from Jalapa de Diaz with red-ruby skirt as Frida wore in a photo session with Leo Matiz, famous VIP photographer, 1940.
This is a very sophisticated and richly decorated Huipil made of green silk material embroidered with flowers in red.
The embroideries not always represent stylized plants or birds, the style varies from family to family. A large white lace collar cut in a round shape adorns the neck.
The Huipil is made of three sections, each section always ends with a white lace, the sleeves are made of the same lace material.
Jalapa de Diaz (the name means “in the sand”) is a village with 26000 inhabitants in the Mazatec region. It is five hours drive from Oaxaca.
Antique Rebozo made in Tenancingo, provenience: Mexico City, 1827.
This is a rebozo as Frida Kahlo used to wear and paint.
It is a loom woven scarf in deep blue (indigo), white wool and cotton with a very long elaborate knotted fringe.
Tenancingo, South West of Mexico City, is best noted for the production of robozos, being documented as early as 1790.
Photo: # 83: Frida Kahlo, Portrait of Lucha Maria, A Girl from Tehuacan, 1942; Licensed replica © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
“Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo” by Carlos Phillips Olmedo, Denise Rosenzweig, Magdalena Rosenzweig and Teresa del Conde (2008).
Author: Dr. Mariella Remund
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
25 years of passion of two artists larger than life Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were married from 1929 to 1939 for the first time, and a second time from 1940 till Frida Kahlo’s death in 1954.
The years together were marked by passion and pain that these two great artists felt for each other. The influence of Diego on Frida’s life is indisputable:
He influenced her paintings, her way of dressing and presenting herself as an Aztec Queen.
Frida was eventually Diego’s soul mate, but he realized it only after her death.
Frida wrote in her diary:
“Diego is the name of Love”.
Diego wrote in his autobiography:
“July 13th 1954 was the saddest day of my life. I lost forever my beloved Frida… too late I realized that my love for her was the most wonderful part of my life”.
Painting: # 27: Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931; licensed replica: ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
The paintings are licensed replicas from © Banco de Mexico, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2008.
Over the years the Museum founders have added to this private collection so that today the Museum counts over 1000 exhibits, including entire rooms of the Blue House reconstructed from vintage photos to the smallest detail.
Probably one of the most iconic additions to the exhibition was the canopy bed of Frida Kahlo reproduced to the millimeter in the same materials and style as her own bed in Mexico City. Today the exhibition shows more than 30 Mexican dresses, a Mexican rebozo (scarf) dated ca.1827, two photographs from Nickolas Muray from the Nikolas Muray Archives and over 120 photos of Frida, her family, her friends, and Mexico between 1900 to 1950.
During the years in Baden-Baden the Museum and the Frida Kahlo exhibition were the preferred place for schools visits, families Sunday outings, first dates and, following the trail of love, even for a surprise marriage proposal, an actual wedding and a married couple for 23 years, finally bought their first wedding rings in the museum shop for $4 each.
All these events, and many more, happened under the vigilant, penetrating, mysterious eyes of Frida Kahlo looking from the paintings.
This year, the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Museum was celebrated in San Diego; since October 2013 until May 2014 all the exhibits in show and Frida’s story could be seen at NTC Liberty Station in San Diego for the pleasure of the visitors coming from Mexico and California.
One of over 200 photos of the collection.
"Nada vale mas que la risa." Frida Kahlo
"Nothing is worth more than laughter.
It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” Frida Kahlo
The other night my boyfriend came into my bedroom through the window because my parents do not want him, but suddenly they came because they heard our noise. I dedicate this to San Ramón Nonato who made the miracle that they did not realize that my boyfriend was hiding behind the bed and believed the story that it was my cat that made the noise. Salazar Luiciana, Tamaulipas 1940
La otra noche mi novio entró a mi recamara por la ventana porque mis papás no lo quieren pero de repente ellos entraron porque escucharon nuestros ruidos. Dedico este retablito a San Ramón Nonato porque me hizo el milagro de que ellos no se dieran cuenta que mi novio estaba escondido detras de la cama y se creyeron el cuento que era mi gatito el que hizo ruidos. Luiciana Salazar, Tamaulipas 1940
Frida Kahlo &
Culture in Mexico
Ex-Voto is a Spanish word meaning “votive offering”.
"Ex-Voto" paintings are Catholic religious paintings that became very popular in the Mexican religious culture in the 19th century. They are usually small: 30 x 20 cm and painted mostly on wood or metal.
Ex-Votos are images offered to a saint or the Madonna as a thank you for an answered prayer. In most cases, the Ex-Voto is signed by the supplicant and dated, and explains why the giver is giving thanks. In many cases, they tell a very touching personal story which is why they are so fascinating. The Ex-Voto is most often left at a church altar. They are very public, yet very personal, professions of faith in God and thanks for favors received.
The most common reason for thanks is health, with many Ex-Votos dedicated after operations. Survival of accidents is another reason, but almost any subject is sufficient to justify creating one, from finding a missing farm animal to helping to find a spouse.
The tradition of votive painting was brought to the Mexico by Spanish conquerors.
At the end of the 18th century, tin plate became widely available in Mexico and thus, Mexican folk painters discovered a new surface medium for their paintings. Because tinplate was so cheap, the practice of offering votive paintings to Jesus, Mary or one’s favorite saint became very common in Mexico,
Ex-Votos are a wonderful and unique expression of Mexican culture.
"Ex-Voto" paintings include three elements:
1) a scene illustrating a tragedy or someone with a grave illness or injury;
2) a Saint or martyr that intervened to save the person, and
3) the description of the event usually at the bottom of the Ex-Voto.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Riveras had a collection of more than 1000 Ex-Votos which can be seen in the Blue House in Mexico City.
We can see the influence of the "Ex-Voto" style of painting in some of Frida's works.
Frida would often take elements from these votive paintings to create her own style of Ex-Voto in her paintings.
The Ex-Voto (Frida called it “Retablo”) Nr. 70 in the exhibition is an example of an Ex-Voto Frida bought because it resembled her own tragic bus accident of 1925, then painted her own head (with the famous uni-brow) over the Ex-Voto, and changed the name of the destination of the bus “Coyoacan”
Frida Kahlo paintings "My Birth" Nr.34, "My Nanny and I" Nr. 47 and "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale" Nr. 63 are typical examples of Frida style Ex-Voto.
Paintings left to right:
# 34: My Birth, 1932, # 47: My Nurse and I, 1937, # 63: The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, 1938-39
licensed replica: ©Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
On October 13 1925 (4 weeks after Frida's accident), she wrote a letter to Alejandro Gomez Arias:"... When you come, please bring some chocolate and a Balero, the same we had on the day (of the accident) which I lost on the bus .Your friend, who is looking like a line on the landscape. Friducha
"Because of the tiny little umbrella I was very sad. Life begins tomorrow... "
Many years later, Frida talked about her accident:
"I remember it was the 17th September 1925 ... Shortly after we (Frida and Alejandro) had entered the bus, the collision happened.
First we were in another bus, but I had lost a little umbrella, and we got out to look for it, that´s why we got on that bus, which mutilated me.
The accident happened ... My first thought was for a pretty colorful Balero, which I had bought that day. I wanted to look for it in the belief that all of this would not have any consequences. "
Source: Frida Kahlo, "Now that you're leaving me, I love you more than ever,"
2007 SchirmerGraf, Munich.
For further infos about the Balero game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup-and-ball
#70: Frida Kahlo, Votive painting, after 1926; Licensed replica © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008.
This s a popular Catholic festivity that celebrates the belief that a man encountered the Virgin Mary, Mexico’s patron saint, in Mexico City on December 9 and 12, 1531.
According to the story of the Lady of Guadalupe, Mary spoke in the Nahuatl language when she appeared to the young man.
In the Frida Kahlo exhibition the Virgen de Guadalupe is shown in two retablos and in one original painting used to decorate the kitchen of Frida.
Author: Dr. Mariella Remund.