In this painting, Frida used a young deer with the head of herself and was fatally wounded by a bunch of arrows. The background is the forest with dead trees and broken branches, which implied the feeling of fear and desperation. Far away is the stormy, lightning-lit sky which brings some hope but the dear will never be able to reach it.
In 1946 Frida Kahlo had an operation on her spine in New York. She was hoping this surgery would free her from the severe back pain but it failed. This painting expressed her disappointment towards the operation. After she went back to Mexico, she suffered both the physical pain and emotional depression. In this painting she depicted herself as a young stag with her own head crowned with antlers. This young stag is pierced by arrows and bleeding. At the lower-left corner, the artist wrote down the word "Carma", which means "destiny" or "fate". Just like her other self-portraits, in this painting Frida expressed the sadness that she cannot change her own fate.
Frida used her pet deer "Granizo" as the model when she painted this portrait. She had many pets which she used as her surrogate children and deer is her favorite kind.
This painting has multiple interpretations from different people. Some said it expressed her frustration over the botched surgery. Others said it portrays her incapability to control her own destiny. And some people said it has sexual implication and expressed her struggles in different relationship.
On May 3, 1946, Frida gave this painting to her friends Lina and Arcady Boitler as a wedding gift. With it she included a note that said: "I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you".