Kahlo essay.pdf - Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Thorn...

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Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Madison Lambert In this essay, I will be examining a painting; the overall subject, technical aspects, the artist, the purpose of the painting, context, my interpretation, and other source’s interpretations. This painting is by Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist, titled ‘Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’ (1940). The format is portrait, the medium is oil on canvas, size 61.25cm x 47cm and located in the Harry Ransom Centre, University of Austin, Texas. Since it was painted, it has appeared in many exhibitions internationally. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, passion, pain, and striking, vivid colours. She was born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, and died on July 13th, 1954 at the age of 47. Kahlo, who suffered from polio as a child, nearly died in a bus accident as a teenager. She spent most of her life in physical pain, suffering multiple fractures of her spine, collarbone and ribs, a shattered pelvis, broken foot, and dislocated shoulder. She became dedicated to painting whilst recovering in a body cast. During her lifetime, she underwent 30 operations to fix her broken body! Life experience is a common theme in Kahlo's approximately 200 artworks. Of her 143 paintings, 55 are self-portraits. She depicted her physical and emotional pain and her tempestuous relationship with Diego Rivera - fellow artist and husband - whom she married twice. “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” – Frida Kahlo. Kahlo and Rivera divorced in 1939, but reunited a year later and remarried.1As you can see from the title, this is of a portrait genre and is of the artist Frida Kahlo herself, painted on a canvas support. Kahlo faces the viewer – she is the focal point – and is surrounded by tropical leaves in different tones of green and one bright yellow leaf placed behind her head. A black cat looks over her right shoulder and to the left, a spider monkey holds the thorn necklace encircling her neck, causing drops of blood to trickle from the piercings. A hummingbird is hanging in the centre of the thorns which are tied around her throat. Her hair has been styled on top of her head with a purple material in the shape of a figure of eight, with two butterflies placed on either side. Just above her head fly two dragonflies; these beautiful creatures add a pop of colour to the portrait, and bring movement to the picture, as the viewer would imagine them flying around. The artist has used a very eye catching and wide palette of colours and has mixed an excellent range of primary and secondary colours to recreate the beautiful colours of the rainforest. Black, green, and white

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Frida Kahlo

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