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Frida and Diego Rivera

Painting, 1931, 100×79 cm

Description of the artwork «Frida and Diego Rivera»

Picture "Frida and Diego Rivera" the artist wrote as a wedding portrait, but only two years after he and Diego were married. Unlike many of Frida’s later works, this double portrait was painted in a naive style borrowed from 19th century Mexican artists, in particular, from Jose Maria Estrada. From them here is not only an unnaturally puppet image of the characters and their pose, but also a pigeon holding a signature tape in its beak. It reads: “Here you see us, me - Frida Kahlo and my dearest husband, Diego Rivera. I wrote this picture in delightful San Francisco, California, for our companion Mr. Albert Bender, and that was in April 1931. ”

Just four years later, Frida uses pigeons again - this time black and white - in a painting depicting a brutal murder. The tape will say: “Just a few scratches!” And, perhaps, it is this picture, painted in the same naive style, and not at all a ceremonial wedding portrait, that best describes the marriage of Frida and Diego - treason, betrayal and a lot of pain.

And this portrait depicts the couple Rivera in the marriage, what he could have been, in the one that Frida had dreamed of. Diego's colossal figure stands so confidently on the ground, as if growing into it, and in his hand he holds what defines him — a palette and a brush. In the other hand is the palm of a young wife, whose tiny legs barely touch the ground, as if she is about to soar, and he cannot hold her back. In life, everything was the opposite: it was Freda who could not keep Diego, who was freedom-loving and dependent on female attention. However, she did not squeeze his hand too tightly, realizing too quickly that the beloved husband would never belong to her or anyone else. At the time when she was writing this wedding portrait, Rivera cheated on her with tennis player Helen Wills, who posed for him for one of the murals. Once Frida said: “Being Diego's wife is the most amazing thing in the world. I let him play marriage with other women. But Diego has never been a husband, and never will be. But he is a great friend. ”

In this picture, nothing says that Frida is also an artist, talented, strong and original. At this moment, the most important thing in her life is family ties. And yet - one of the greatest tragedies of Frida. Some researchers believe that in the way the artist tightens the shawl knot in her belly, there is a hint of the constant pain she felt and the inability to bear the child.

Author: Evgeny Sidelnikov.
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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Primitivism (Naїv art)

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1931

Size: 100×79 cm

Artwork in selections: 24 selections