(in chronological order)
Self-portrait as an Ecce Homo, c.1500
Leonardo da Vinci:
Rembrandt van Rijn:
Vincent van Gogh:
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889
Self-portrait with glass of champagne, 1919
The broken column (Self-portrait), 1944
1944, oil on canvas, Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
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.