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Self-Portrait with Monkey

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938. Oil on Masonite, 16 x 12 inches (40.6 x. 30.5 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966 (1966:9.10). © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

© Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Frida Kahlo

Mexican, 1907-1954

Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938

oil on Masonite

support: 16 x 12 inches (40.64 x 30.48 cm); framed: 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches (49.53 x 39.37 x 3.81 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966

1966:9.10

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / lower right / F. KAHLO. 38

Provenance

the artist;
sold to A. Conger Goodyear, January 3, 1939;
bequeathed to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, January 15, 1966

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Frida Kahlo’s story is one of both tragedy and perseverance. Kahlo contracted polio at the age of six. The disease left her right leg disfigured, which she hid by wearing long skirts. She later regained her strength by playing sports. In September 1925, at the age of 18, Kahlo was in a serious bus accident that placed her in a full-body cast for three months. Pain from the ordeal stayed with her for the rest of her life. Following the crash, Kahlo began to paint to alleviate her boredom. Throughout her lifetime, she made numerous self-portraits. Each provides a glimpse into the artist’s world, which was constantly in emotional flux.

In Self-Portrait with Monkey, Kahlo depicted herself standing before lush vegetation wearing a blouse and bone necklace reminiscent of traditional Mexican clothing. Kahlo’s furry companion is her pet spider monkey, Fulang-Chang, whom she adored for his childlike and playful nature. She was haunted by a desire to have children and looked for comfort in her many exotic pets. They roamed the house and garden of her childhood home in Coyoacán, Mexico, where she lived with her husband, artist Diego Rivera, from 1929 until her death in 1954.

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