Born: 1907; Coyoacán, Mexico
Died: 1954; Coyoacán, Mexico
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter best know for her surrealist self-portraits, depicting her intense emotional and physical pain. She was three years old at the onset of the Mexican Revolution, a fact which colored her from the very beginning of her life, including accounts of how her mother would rush her and her three sisters into the house because of outbreaks of gunfire in the streets outside her house. Sometimes her mother would even invite the hungry revolutionaries in for dinner.
Frida was not a stranger wither to pain or to physical disfigurement. She contracted polio at the age of six, which left her right leg thinner than her left, a fact which she disguised by wearing long skirts. When she was a student at the Preparatoria in 1922, she was in a terrible bus accident. A trolley collided with the bus that Kahlo was riding in, and she suffered sever injuries, including a broken spinal column, broken collarbone, broken ribs, broken pelvis, and her right leg was fractured in eleven different places. Her right foot was also crushed and dislocated, as was her shoulder. The bus’ iron handrail also pierced her abdomen and uterus, leaving her barren for the rest of her life.
Portrait of a Woman in White , 1930