The Broken Column, 1944 by Frida Kahlo
Pain and suffering is a constant topic in Frida's painting. In this painting, The Broken Column, Frida expressed her anguish and suffering in the most straightforward and horrifying way. The nails are stuck into her face and whole body. A split in her torso looks like an earthquake fissure. In the background is the earth with dark ravines. In the beginning she paints herself nude but later covered her lower part up with something the looks like a hospital sheet. A broken column is put in place of her spine. The column appears to be on the verge of collapsing into rubble. Penetrating from loins to chin, the column looks phallic, and the sexual connotation is all the more obvious because of the beauty of Frida's breasts and torso.
This painting Frida looks pretty and strong. Although her whole body is supported by the corset, she is conveying a message of spiritual triumph. She has tears on her face but she look straight ahead and is challenging both herself and her audience to face her situation.
The style of this painting is very unique. She laid down each stoke firmly to build a simple and clear image. There are no virtuoso flourishes of the brush and the colors are as neatly contained within contours.