Self-portrait was written by Frida Kahlo during the recovery period after the accident. Her health deteriorated markedly in 1944. Unbearable pain in the spine made her wear a steel corset. Forced to endure the bodily and mental pain of loneliness, she found the strength to paint. That is why the self-portrait is very different from the rest of the artist's works. Frida liked to use a riot of colors in her work, which is not in this self-portrait.
The picture depicts the exhausted, defenseless, but courageous and hardy Frida. The image fully characterizes its condition at the time of writing. The body of a defenseless, fragile, pained girl is chained in a corset. A half-naked heroine stands in the desert, on which a stormy sky hangs. The lifelessness of the nature depicted reflects loneliness and powerlessness. The earth is broken into dark gaps, the outlines of which are similar to a fracture on the body.
The fault line on the body opens up a view of the crumbling ionic column. The corset is held in this very fragile design. Looking at the picture, it seems that only thanks to these white straps of the corset the column is held. The elements borrowed from iconography add particular drama to the picture: white fabric wrapped around the hips, similar to the shroud of Christ, many nails piercing the heroine’s body and face, reminiscent of the torment of St. Sebastian. These elements add expressiveness to the picture and convey the tragedy of the plot to the viewer.
Tears flow down the cheeks of the heroine. Kahlo was not peculiar to lose heart, so she treated irony with what was happening to her. Self-portrait has its secret message to the viewer. In the pupils of the character, you can see tiny white doves that symbolize peace and hope.
Painting Dali Sleep