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Henry Ford Hospital

Painting, 1932, 30.5×38 cm

Description of the artwork «Henry Ford Hospital»

Perhaps none of the consequences of the terrible accident, which has crippled young Frida for the rest of her life, did not bring her so much heartache as the inability to become a mother. And the incredible inner strength that helped her cope with physical pain could not help her in this. Frida passionately and desperately dreamed of having a child from her beloved Diego, but each pregnancy again and again ended in miscarriage, further undermining the artist’s fragile health.

In the summer of 1932, Diego and Frida lived in Detroit: the illustrious artist received a new order, and an unknown and not attracting undue attention “Mrs. Rivera” accompanied him. When Frida found out about another pregnancy, she immediately turned to local doctors. But, despite the strict bed rest, her body failed again. On July 4, while America was celebrating Independence Day, Frieda very slowly left the life that had come into being. That is how she remembered it, and so she later talked about miscarriage - slowly. In the picture "Henry Ford Hospital" the symbol of this painful course of time will be the snail.

This picture is scary, it confuses, makes the viewer feel embarrassed. This is not a painting at all, which, in the opinion of many, should first of all please the eye and awaken pleasant feelings. This is the quintessence of suffering, in which pain, horror, blood and human guts are paraded. And at the same time, it is salvation, the only way for Frida to experience what is impossible to survive.

A few days after the breakdown, being in deep depression, the artist asked to bring her a lost child, but the doctors refused to comply with her request. Instead, they and Diego brought her medical illustrations, which she used to create the Henry Ford Hospital. Rivera supported her desire to paint, realizing that it was painting that always helped Frieda during the worst moments of her life. He later said that the paintings she created in 1932 were "Much better than those she wrote before losing a child". Once Diego declared that Frida - "The only artist in the history of art who opened her chest and her own heart to reveal the biological nature of her feelings."

"Henry Ford Hospital" - the first paintings of Frida Kahlo, written on a metal plate, in the tradition of the Mexican "retable". In November 1938, she was first presented to the public at the artist's first solo exhibition in New York - called “Lost Desire”.

Author: Evgeny Sidelnikov.
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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene

Style of art: Surrealism, Primitivism (Naїv art)

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1932

Size: 30.5×38 cm

Artwork in selections: 26 selections

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