Frida Kahlo, the doyen of the Mexican painters of the last century was one of the early feminists and a firebrand communist who took part in people’s movements despite bad health. Though Kahlo died in 1954 her reputation continues to grow. Her life was wracked with terrible ill health and she died aged just 47. Even in her lifetime she was considered one of the Mexico’s greatest artists.
Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyocoan, a village now part of Mexico City. Today because of the influence of its favourite daughter it has become a cultural hub. It houses the bright-blue Frida Kahlo Museum, showcasing her life and work, as well as the National Museum of Popular Culture and Folk Art. There are science museums, theatres and the Azteca Stadium which hosts international football games.
Kahlo grew up in the family home later known as Casa Azul (the Blue House). Her father, a photographer of German origin, had come to Mexico where he met and married Matilde, half American-Indian and half Spanish. Kahlo was just six when she contracted polio. She was bedridden for nine months and her right leg and foot withered. She would limp for the rest of her life and always wore long skirts.