10 SELECTED SELF-PORTRAITS

(in chronological order)

Albrecht Dürer:
Self-portrait as an Ecce Homo, c.1500

Leonardo da Vinci:
Self-portrait, c.1512

Rembrandt van Rijn:
Self-portrait, 1659

Vincent van Gogh:
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889

Pablo Picasso:
Self-portrait, 1901

Egon Schiele:
Self-portrait, 1911

Max Beckmann:
Self-portrait with glass of champagne, 1919

Frida Kahlo:
The broken column (Self-portrait), 1944

Francis Bacon:
Self-portrait, 1971

Jean-Michelle Basquiat:
Self-portrait, 1982

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8. FRIDA KAHLO
“The broken column (self-portrait)”



1944, oil on canvas, Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Frida Kahlo: “The Broken column (self-portrait)"

On September 17th, 1925, a 17 years old Mexican girl called Frida Kahlo was almost killed in a terrible bus accident. She did not died, but the violent crash had terrible sequels, breaking her spinal column, pelvis, and right leg. It also damaged her uterus, causing her to lose her reproductive ability.

“The broken column” is a ruthless testimony of the suffering that accompanied Frida for all her life. The artist has depicted herself with her nude torso surrounded by a brutal body cast, while a cruel breach in his body allows us to observe how a stone column -broken into several pieces- is replacing her spinal column, symbolizing the consequences of the terrible bus accident. In addition, Frida has exaggerated her "ugliness", highlighting her extremely joined eyebrows and the hair over her mouth. When we talked about Rembrandt's self-portraits, we pointed that the artist had shown no mercy for himself, representing his figure in a honest, stoical manner. Very different is the style of Frida, whose self-portraits can be considered as quiet but terrible moans.

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