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The Broken Column

by Frida Kahlo

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The Broken Column - Description

The Broken Column is a self portrait painted by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The painting, oil on canvas, was completed in the year 1944 and measures four hundred by three hundred-five millimeters. A surrealist masterpiece, The Broken Column depicts the artist’s semi-naked torso, a column of the classical style depicted running from her chin to her belly. It is symbolically shattered, describing her reality of conflicting identities and separate lives spent living in the same body. That is, her prosperous life as a medical student and her fragmented existence occurring after her terrible accident aboard a trolley car. Tears flow from the face whose expression is absent and forlorn, her lips pursed and her chin resting on the crumbling column. Notice the beauty that resides in her body and face in comparison to the horrendous catastrophe occurring constantly in her midsection. Her image is forever immortalized and beloved as a pillar of strength on a modern world torn with strife, in a state of constant crumble but never completely in ruins. Frida’s image exists to remind us all of the strength required to persevere through periods of tribulation however long and difficult they might seem. Observe the nails sticking into her every section, yet there is no blood shone on her stark white garments. The Broken Column’s indelible power comes from the rawest of ingredients sacred to an artist, tragedy turned into art.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: The Broken Column

Original Artist: Frida Kahlo
Subject: Portraits
Style: Surrealism
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
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