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Frida Kahlo is perhaps the best known Mexican painter of her time. Her style is very eclectic but it can be best described as a combination of realism, symbolism and surrealism that she utilised to depict the rich indigenous culture of her country. She is also famous for her self-portraits, which often reflect her physical pain and the suffering she experienced daily.
But to understand her art it is vital that we learn about her life.
Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 in Coyoacn, Mexico. She was of German descent on the paternal side of the family since her grandparents, although both were born in Germany, sailed to Mexico where they decided to settle in 1891. Her mother Matilde, on the other hand, was of indigenous descent primarily but mixed with Spanish and thus a devout Catholic.
At the age of six, she fell ill with the polio. This left her partially deformed, since now her left leg looked thinner than her right, a fact she would hide by wearing long skirts. But it was not until 1925, at the age of 18, that she suffered a very severe accident that would change her life completely. While riding in a bus, the vehicle collided with a trolley car causing her serious injuries, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, several broken ribs, a broken pelvis, 11 fractures in her left leg, a dislocated (and crushed) right foot and a dislocated shoulder. She also suffered a very considerable wound to her uterus, which was pierced by a metallic handrail seriously damaging her ability to have children.
Eventually, she recovered from this tragedy and was able to walk again although, as can be seen in some of the photograp ...
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