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social studies > history of art > women artists > FRIDA KAHLO < famous women

Frida Kahlo in San Francisco, California 1931, Art Print
Frida Kahlo,
San Francisco, CA 1931,
Art Print

Frida Kahlo
b. 7-6-1907; Coyoacán, Mexico
d. 7-13-1954; Coyoacán

Frida Kahlo, a legendary Mexican painter whose art reflected a lifetime of searing pain, emotional upheaval and a volatile marriage to artist Diego Rivera, was the first woman to sell a painting to the esteemed Louvre in Paris.

Kahlo, who survived polio as a child and was seriously injured in a bus accident at the age of 18, began painting in bed while she recovered. She conveyed her agony of operations and a partial amputation of her right leg through self-portraits that were deliberately Naïve and influenced by the Mexican folk art she loved.

Kahlo created more than 200 artworks in her short life.

History of Art

Notable Women Artists - Frida Kahlo - Self-Portrait with Monkey Wall Poster
Notable Women Artists - Frida Kahlo - Self-Portrait with Monkey
Wall Poster

Notable Women Artists -
Frida Kahlo -
Self-Portrait with Monkey
Wall Poster

• more Notable Women Artists posters
Who Am I? Lesson Plan Ideas

Masterworks of Art - Frieda Kahlo - Frieda and Diego Rivera Wall Poster
Masterworks of Art
Frieda & Diego Rivera

Masterworks of Art -
Frida Kahlo -
Frida and Diego Rivera
Wall Poster

Masterworks of Art posters

Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, 1937 Art Print, Frida Kahlo, Art Print
Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky
Art Print

Kahlo and husband Diego Rivera took the Russian politician Leon Trotsky and his wife into their home in Mexico after Joseph Stalin chased the Trotsky's into exile.

“Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, 1937,” was Kahlo's birthday gift to the Russian politician, with whom she had a short affair.

The painting was left behind when the Trotskys moved out of Kahlo’s house; the piece is now featured in Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940, Art Print, Frida Kahlo
Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940,
Art Print

Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940, Frida Kahlo

“Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair”, the first self-portrait Frida Kahlo painted after her divorce from Diego Rivera, expressed the anguish of her loss and renounced her feminine image, the long hair Rivera adored. Wearing a suit that probably belonged to Rivera, Kahlo represents herself yearning for the freedom and independence of a man and conflicted with the loneliess and despair of a vast empty space. The song verse above her reads: “See, if I loved you, it was for your hair, Now you’re bald, I don’t love you anymore.”

Famous Women posters
Women Artist posters
Mexico posters


• “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
• “I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows. But now the damned things have learned to swim, and now decency and good behavior weary me.”
• “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”
• “I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”


The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo - Frida Kahlo’s diary, like her art, is painted in breathtakingly vivid colors. It covers her tumultuous last decade and encompasses love letters, political musings on Communism, and resplendent paintings. The paintings, peopled with mythic figures, self-portraits, and monsters, articulate Kahlo’s fantastic visions. One drawing melds a procession of crying faces onto an intertwined couple surrounded by body parts, only to dissolve into a mass of roots and dendrites.

In the introduction, Carlos Fuentes writes, “...a streetcar crashed into the fragile bus she was riding, broke her spinal column, her collarbone, her ribs, her pelvis.... The impact of the crash left Frida naked and bloodied, but covered with gold dust.” Her paintings depict her bodily experience, from anguish to sensuality. Kahlo said, “I never painted dreams, I painted my own reality.” This visionary ability earned her a place among the surrealists.

Kahlo’s prose delves into the associations between images and words, feelings and thought. Her writings shed welcome light on her active intelligence and provide an outline of the events of her life. This Abradale edition features plates reproducing the pages of the diary, and essays by Carlos Fuentes and Sarah Lowe that place it in the context of Mexican art, politics, and history. It is a magical work that adds to an understanding not only of Kahlo's work, but of her interior world as well.

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera - The engrossing biography of the celebrated Mexican painter. “A mesmerizing story of radical art, romantic politics, bizarre loves and physical suffering that raises the question, why hasn’t someone told it all before.”

Frida Kahlo: Mysterious Painter (The Library of Famous Women) by Nancy Frazier - A close look at the life and work of one of Mexico's most unusual and haunting artists. Her imagery and style influenced generations of painters around the world. Slowly but surely, the accomplishments of women are being recognized and appreciated by the world at large. In our schools and in the media, more emphasis is being placed on the meaningful roles women play. The Library of Famous Women features an international collection of courageous and determined individuals who have overcome both personal adversity and societal prejudice to achieve their goals. Many of these important stories have previously gone untold, but now The Library of Famous Women brings the life stories of these powerful and eloquent role models to your young readers. Grades 3-7

Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo - Frida's Fiestas is a personal account in words and pictures of many important and happy events in the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, and a scrapbook, assembled by her stepdaughter, of recipes for more than 100 dishes that Frida served to family and friends with her characteristic enthusiasm for all the pleasures of life. Full-color photographs.

Frida - DVD - Selma Hayek plays the Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, whose tempestuous life with her unfaithful husband, muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), drives the story of Frida. DVD set includes interviews and featurettes on the making of the film.

Frida - Music from the Motion Picture - Selma Hayek

Frida Kahlo: Postcards

Kahlo: 16 Art Stickers

Artist's Manual: A Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Materials and Templates by Angela Gair - An easy to use guide with a clear, informative text explaining hundreds of painting and drawing techniques – and more. From color use and composition to subject choice and tips from professionals.


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last updated 12/26/13