The Colors Of Frida Kahlo

The Colors Of Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter. She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico and European influences including Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically articulate her own pain and sexuality. Kahlo was married to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries in the accident, including a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, a crushed and dislocated right foot, and a dislocated shoulder. An iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability. She would be plagued by relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life.


with_monkey wNecklace_of_Thorns

After the accident, Kahlo turned her attention away from the study of medicine to begin a full-time painting career. The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she recovered in a full body cast; she painted to occupy her time during her temporary state of immobilization. Her self-portraits became a dominant part of her life when she was immobile for three months after her accident. Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am often alone and I am the subject I know best."


Kahlo's paintings were rich in bright vibrant colors. In her diary, Frida attempts to explain the meaning of the colors used in her works (info from


good warm light


Aztec. Old TLAPALI blood of prickly pear, the brightest and oldest


color of mole, leaves becoming earth


madness, sickness, fear. Part of the sun and of joy

Cobalt Blue

electricity and purity love


nothing is black - really nothing

Leaf Green

leaves, sadness, science, the whole of Germany is this color

Greenish Yellow

more madness and mystery…all the ghosts wear clothes of this color, or at least their underclothes

Dark Green

color of bad advertisements and good business

Navy Blue

distance….also tenderness can also be this blue


blood?....well, who knows!



sun__life_of_frida The_Dream_(The_Bed)









Frida Kahlo Palettes & Patterns from the CL Library

Frida_Kahlo Frida_Kahlo

fridas_courtyard Frida

Frida_Kahlo frida

Frida_Kahlo Frida_Kahlo

Frida_Kahlo_Lives frida_kahlo

frida frida

Frida Thorn_Necklace

Sources: Wikipedia & (very informative site).

Thanks to tvr for the suggestion.

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Showing 1 - 8 of 8 Comments
I've never been a big fan of Frida Kahlo (maybe because I grew up with Expressionism instead of Symbolism, different kind of expressing stuff I guess, anyway) so I never looked so much at her colors. But now I see that they are really beautiful! Thank you for this eye opening post :)
Loving this post. Love the explanation of colors, very interesting!
i love her!!! last week i saw -face to face :D - "Autorretrato con chango y loro,1942".
It's so so beautiful, love every brushstroke that her left.
I've long been a fan of Frida Kahlo, love her work. Great inspiration for pallets. Terrific post! Thank you XXX
oooh thanks evad! it's a great article!!!
The power inside this woman artist is so clearly felt by the distinct color palettes she painted with.

Wow! and thank you.
I am a big fan of Frida's story and her art. Thanks for sharing your article.
A very good article. I think Frida's story in interesting. I have been to her museum in Mexico City. But still, while her use of color fantastic, I strongly dislike her imagery. I want art to give me release, peace, beauty. Most of her art only disturbs. Interesting to see, know and appreciate, but I would NEVER have something like it on my wall.

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