My Nurse and I, 1937 by Frida Kahlo

My Nurse and I, 1937 by Frida Kahlo
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This painting depicts Frida is being nursed by her native Indian wet-nurse. Her own mother cannot breastfeed her since her younger sister Cristina was only 11 months younger than her. Her family hired this nurse to breastfeed her. The nurse was later fired because she drinks on her job. The relationship between Frida and the nurse seems cold and distant. There are no cuddles or embracing. The nurse seems just doing a practical process of breastfeeding. The baby has an adult head of Frida and the nurse is wearing a pre-Columbian funerary mask covering her face. The reason might be Frida cannot remember how she looks since she was so young.

This painting has the implication for Frida's feeling of loss and separation from her own mom. She never felt bonded with her mom and in this painting there are no connections between her and the wet nurse. The nurse seems just feeding Frida and displays her like a sacrificial offering.

This painting, My Nurse and I, is one of the series of paintings Frida documented the major events of her life, which is a project encouraged by her husband Diego Rivera. Frida considered this to be one of her most powerful works and wrote about this painting saying:

I am in my nurse's arms, with the face of a grownup woman and the body of a little girl, while milk falls from her nipples as if from the heavens."

In the original version of this painting, Kahlo had short hair. She later repainted it with long hair.