Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (frē´dä kä´lō), 1907–54, Mexican painter, b. Coyoacán. As a result of an accident at age 15, Kahlo turned her attention from a medical career to painting. Drawing on her personal experiences, her works are often shocking in their stark portrayal of pain and the harsh lives of women. Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are self-portraits incorporating a personal symbolism complete with graphic anatomical references. She was also influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, aspects of which she portrayed in bright colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism. Her paintings attracted the attention of the artist Diego Rivera, whom she later married. Although Kahlo's work is sometimes classified as surrealist and she did exhibit several times with European surrealists, she herself disputed the label. Her preoccupation with female themes and the figurative candor with which she expressed them made her something of a feminist cult figure in the last decades of the 20th cent. Some of her work is exhibited at the Frida Kahlo Museum, situated in her birthplace and subsequent home in suburban Mexico City.


See The Diary of Frida Kahlo (1995), ed. by S. M. Lowe, and The Letters of Frida Kahlo (1995), ed. by M. Zamora; H. Herrera, Frida (1983); S. M. Lowe, Frida Kahlo (1991); M. Zamora, Frida Kahlo (1991); H. Herrera, Frida Kahlo: The Paintings (1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Frida Kahlo: Selected full-text books and articles

Frida Kahlo: A Biography By Claudia Schaefer Greenwood Press, 2009
Frida Kahlo: A Self-Proclaiming Self-Portrait Artist By Steadman, Kandace; Cook, Ande School Arts, Vol. 95, No. 5, January 1996
Heroes & Hero Cults in Latin America By Samuel Brunk; Ben Fallaw University of Texas Press, 2006
Surrealism and the Exotic By Louise Tythacott Routledge, 2002
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Frida Kahlo begins on p. 180
The Apotheosis of Frida and Che: Secular Saints and Fetishized Commodities By Sanchez, Carleen D Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2012
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, Society & Culture By Michael S. Werner Fitzroy Dearborn, vol.2, 1997
Librarian's tip: "Women Artists" begins on p. 1586
Surrealist Women: An International Anthology By Penelope Rosemont University of Texas Press, 1998
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
45 Contemporary Mexican Artists: A Twentieth-Century Renaissance By Virginia Stewart Stanford University Press, 1951
Librarian's tip: "Frida Kahlo" begins on p. 121
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