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The Two Fridas, 1939 by Frida Kahlo

Shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivea, Frida completed this self-portrait of two different personalities. In her diary, Frida writes that this painting originated from her memory of an imaginary childhood friend. Later she admitted it records the emotions surrounding her separation and martial crisis.

On the right, the part of her person which was respected and loved by Diego, is the Mexican Frida in Tehuana costume. In her hand she holds an amulet bearing the portrait of Diego as a child. On the left, a more rather European Frida in a lacy white Victorian wedding dress, the Frida that Diego abandoned. The hearts of the two women lie exposed, a device Frida often used to express her pain. The unloved Frida's heart is broken while the other Frida's heart is whole. From the amulet that Frida is holding springs a vein that travels through both women's hearts and is finally cut off by the surgical pincers held in the lap of the rejected Frida. In despair, Frida tries to stop the flow of blood from Diego but it keeps dripping, she is in danger of bleeding to death. The stormy sky filled with agitated clouds may reflect Frida's inner turmoil. Holding her own hand, she is her only companion.

In 1947, this painting was purchased by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Institute of Fine Arts) in Mexico City. The purchase price was 4,000 Pesos (about $1,000) for the painting and an additional 36 Pesos for the frame. That was the most Frida was ever paid for a painting during her lifetime.

A reproduction of this painting is on display in the Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan, Mexico.

Frida Kahlo's Masterpieces

  • The Broken Column
    The Broken Column
  • Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns
    Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns
  • Roots
    Roots
  • The Two Fridas
    The Two Fridas
  • The Wounded Deer
    The Wounded Deer
  • Me and My Parrots
    Me and My Parrots
  • What the Water Gave Me
    What the Water Gave Me
  • Self Portrait Along the Boarder Line
    Self Portrait Along the Boarder Line
  • My Grandparents My Parents and Me
    My Grandparents My Parents and Me
  • My Dress Hangs There
    My Dress Hangs There
  • Self Portrait as a Tehuana
    Self Portrait as a Tehuana
  • Self Portrait in Velvet Dress
    Self Portrait in Velvet Dress
  • Tree of Hope Remain Strong
    Tree of Hope Remain Strong
  • Two Nudes in the Forest
    Two Nudes in the Forest
  • Without Hope
    Without Hope