Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican artist best known for her self-portraits. Her paintings are strongly influenced by Mexican folk culture, and use lots of bright colours and dramatic symbolism.
Birthday Girl and Brownie Lottie visit Frida's home in Mexico, March 2017
The Bigger Picture!
Frida Kahlo’s childhood
Frida Kahlo grew up in a house called La Casa Azul with her parents and six sisters. That house is now the Frida Kahlo museum. As a child, Frida loved to draw. At age 6, she caught a disease called polio which damaged her right leg.
Frida Kahlo 'Self Portrait' 1940
Why did Kahlo become a painter?
Initially studying medicine, Kahlo changed her career path following a serious accident. As part of her recovery, Kahlo underwent thirty-five operations but she kept painting. Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes.
- Frida said:
"I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration".
What did she paint?
Frida often painted portraits of herself. She wanted to show people about her suffering, her inability to have children, and also the people in her life. She created one hundred and forty three paintings, and of these, fifty-five are self-portraits.
'Self Portrait with Monkey', 1938
Frida's painting style
Frida was proud of her Mexican heritage. She was inspired by traditional Mexican art which is wonderfully colourful, bright, patterned, symbolic art. It is full of feathers, flowers, dancing, music, and texture. She often featured animals in her self-portraits, such as monkeys, parrots, a hairless dog, and a deer. The ‘Self Portrait with Monkey’ (1938) shows Frida standing in front of trees and leaves wearing a traditional Mexican blouse and necklace, along with an elaborate hairstyle that also reflects her heritage.
Frida's Influence and Legacy
Frida’s work has inspired artists to reveal their emotions, inner-turmoil, fantasies, and view-points, no matter how extreme. She is also viewed as the people’s painter because she endured a great struggle and she fought through it. Frida was a strong woman who overcame her predicament and did what she was best at despite severe pain and hardship. Today, people visit her home in Mexico to see where her great art was created and to appreciate what a single person can accomplish against all the odds.
Lottie visits Frida's house!
In March 2017, Lottie founder Ian Harkin visited Frida's home in Mexico and accompanied by Lottie, took these rather awesome photos!
Birthday Girl with Viva Vida Mia with some items from Frida's wardrobe
Frida created this puppet house! Tree of Life
Frida Kahlo was known for using bright colours! Download the colouring template below and you too can have some fun with colours!