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The Meaning Behind the Double Portrait

Frida Kahlo is a feminist icon from Mexico City, Mexico. She serves as one of Mexico’s greatest artists. She was born on July 6, 1907 in Mexico City. She was active in politics and married a communist Diego Rivera in 1929. She began painting after being in a bus accident. Kahlo has painted many portraits but her most famous painting is a double portrait that she created in 1939 called The Two Fridas (Las dos Fridas). This piece is very unique and bold in its own way because it expands on great detail and sophistication.

Before she painted The Two Fridas, Kahlo went to reside in Paris, France. She divorced her husband-then Diego Rivera. Although they remarried in 1940, the painting still spoke out for many especially women who have dealt with a broken heart. The painting is somewhat graphical by showing the actual heart on the outside. The viewer can see the heart outside of the figure in the painting. There is a cord that connects both hearts together and the two figures in the painting are holding hands as well. Both females in the painting pose the same way but have many differences amongst each other.

On the left side, the viewer sees the lady in a white dress that has blood draped all over it. Unlike the woman on the right, her heart is cut open and she is holding scissors in her left hand. Most assume that her heart has broken in a relationship. The figure in the white dress holds the hand of the lady next to her because they are a bond. Her dress is a traditional-formal style of wear for women in Mexico during this time period.

The lady on the right side is healthier and not covered in blood. Although her heart is sticking out, it is still closed. Also, she does not hold a pair of scissors like the other figure in this portrait. Her dress seems like something women would wear at home during the 1900s in Mexico. It is also filled with more primary colors and secondary colors unlike the other dress where it is all white.

Kahlo exemplifies the time period she is in. The dresses are more traditional-style Mexican outfits. It also shows how women were poorly treated at the time. Kahlo leaves a message for women: they must come together and protect each other. Their bond will never be broken if they stand up against men. Kahlo, who is known to be a feminist, shows this in her portrait. Her style of painting is unique and different from other artists. As a female, she takes great pride in this double portrait. She portrays the natural beauty of women by exhibiting great detail and structure into the portrait.

Women would mostly appeal to this piece because it shows the great strength and natural beauty. They are strong enough to handle anything that comes their way even if breaks the most precious thing in their body: the heart. The heart of a women can be matched with the heart of a man. The heart of a women is a diamond amongst other organs in the human body. Frida Kahlo portrays this message to the many women viewing her painting as it gives them strength and courage to make anything possible.

The clouds in the background represent the dark and harsh times women are going through in this portrait. We can see that the clouds were painted out of hues that help distinct the dark time period. Most importantly, the clouds are seen in the background. This shows that women can get through anything together and can overcome the clouds that try to cover them.

Overall, this piece stood out to me the most because it represents a need for a change. I would say this portrait is a great representation for anyone feeling down. It is a great example that anything is possible. Those who stick together can overcome anything if they help each other but those who don’t will not succeed. Kahlo may aim to help more woman but this piece is beneficial to society.

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