The Two Fridas


Shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera, Frida completed this self-portrait of two different personalities. Frida’s diary says this painting had its origin in her memory of an imaginary childhood friend. Later she admitted it records the emotions surrounding her separation and martial crisis. On the right, the part of her person which was respected and loved by Diego, is the Mexican Frida in Tehuana costume. In her hand she holds an amulet bearing the portrait of Diego as a child. On the left, a more rather European Frida in a lacy white dress, the Frida that Diego no longer loved. The hearts of the two women lie exposed, a device Frida often used to express her pain. The unloved Frida’s heart is broken while the other Frida’s heart is whole. From the amulet that Frida is holding springs a vein that travels through both women’s hearts and is finally cut off by the surgical pincers held in the lap of the rejected Frida. In despair, Frida tries to stop the flow of blood from Diego but it keeps dripping…she is in danger of bleeding to death. The stormy sky filled with agitated clouds may reflect Frida’s inner turmoil. Holding her own hand, she is her only companion.

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