The Broken Column

The Broken Column

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The Broken Column-A painful portrait was painted by Frida Khalo in 1944.

Mexican female painter Frida Kahlo is best known for her mysterious Self-Portraits. Her paintings always carry her pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are depicted in her maximum paintings.

Her paintings represent a consistent, iconic likeness of the painter, collectively they give expression to something much more profound, an exploration of identity that encompasses gender, nationality, class, politics, and the painter’s own painful physical experience of her body.

When Khalo was only 18 years old when she was heavily injured in a bus accident. It was on 17th September in 1925, Khalo and a school friend were travelling on a bus and at that time the bus collided with a streetcar. A steel handrail was impaled her through the hip. Her spine and pelvis were broken. She was completely damaged by this accident physically and also mentally.

 She went through numerious surgeries and was unable to carry a child .

She stayed in the Red Cross Hospital in Mexico City for several weeks. Then she returned home and waited for further recovery. She wore a full-body cast for 3 months and then started painting that time and also completed her first self-portrait the following year.  She told that she painted herself because she was often alone and she was the subject she knew best.

The Broken Column was painted in 1944.  It was an oil on masonite painting. In this painting she depicted herself bound and constrained by a cage-like body brace.

The Broken Column -short video description

In fact, she expressed her anguish and suffering in the most straightforward and horrifying way.

At first, she painted herself nude but later she covered her lower part with something looks like a hospital sheet.

A broken column was put in her spine. 

 Metal nails pierced her face, breasts, arms, and torso, as well as her upper thigh, hidden behind a swath of cloth.

Tears stream down her face. Set in an open landscape, the artist-sitter is exposed in more ways than one. The ground on which she stood appeared barren and cleaved. In spite of having tears on her face, she looked straight ahead and was challenging both herself and her audience to face her situation.

The style of this painting was really very unique. She made each stroke firmly and built a simple and clear image. There were no virtuoso flourishes of the brush stroke and the colors were as neatly contained within contours.


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19 thoughts on “The Broken Column”

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