“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
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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).