A Few Small Nips


Broken-hearted over her husband’s affair with her younger sister Cristina, Frida recreated her sorrow and anger in this painting. Her own pain being too great to depict, she projected it onto another woman’s misfortune. A newspaper report about a woman murdered in an act of jealousy provided the artist with the subject matter for this work. The murderer defended his actions before the judge by saying: “But it was just a few small nips!” The violent deed makes symbolic reference to Frida’s own mental state and her own emotional injuries. The banner held by love doves, of all things, bears the painting’s title. One dove is black, the other white, alluding perhaps to the light and dark sides of love.

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