Frida Kahlo: her pain through her paintings

Beatriz Freitas
7 min readNov 2, 2020

The strength and vulnerability of a woman with a tragic life

One of the most cherished painters of her generation, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist known for capturing real elements of her life in unrealistic manners that accentuated the emotions she wished to translate into her canvases. Her story was marked with life-changing and brutal events that influenced her painting's aesthetics and expression.

In one of her journals, she wrote down she carried, and forever would carry, all the world's harms and hurts. That, however, never stopped her from translating so brutally and truthfully the trajectory of her existence.

The resilience Frida showed in so bluntly accepting pain as an unwelcome company, combined with her ability to capture raw emotion and transform it into an impactful statement, is one of the primary reasons she is a symbol of strength and power.

"Two Fridas" :

“Two Fridas” — via

Frida Kahlo was raised in Mexico by a bicultural family since her father was German and her mother was Mexican.

"Two Fridas" is a self-portrait in which the painter represented two versions of herself, the European (on the left) and the native Mexican (on the right). Their connection by hand and heart shows that one could only live as long as the other did.

However, the European Frida's bleeding vessel could represent the more intrinsic relationship Kahlo felt towards the Mexican culture and her deeper recognition as a Latina.

Fun Fact: The first self-portrait Frida ever did was heavily influenced by the European style, in which she represented herself with a long neck and lighter skin tone dressed in a sober burgundy velvet dress. Throughout the years, she seemed to become more comfortable with her native heritage, accentuating her facial features, such as her famous eyebrows, and using vibrant tropical colors.

"The Accident" and "The Broken Column":

“The Accident” — via

When Frida was 18 years old, she was involved in a traffic accident in which a metal bar transfixed…

Beatriz Freitas

Brazilian. Fourth-year medical student. Love arts and social science.