The Two Fridas Painting

WHO WAS frida kahlo?

Kahlo was one of the famous female artists from the 20th century, producing paintings that delved into the questions around gender, identities, race, politics, nationality, sexuality, and the pains of being a human being.

artwork in context

The Two Fridas painting, titled Las dos Fridas in Spanish, was one of Kahlo’s largest paintings. It was a poignant presentation of her inner emotional world depicted by two images of herself.

historical overview

When Frida Kahlo produced The Two Fridas painting it was 1939, the same year when she and her husband, Diego Rivera, who was a famous and prolific Mexican artist, divorced.

standing between identities

If we look deeper at Kahlo’s connection to her Mexican heritage, she was also involved in what was known as the Mexicanidad movement.

subject matter

In The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo, we see two women seated on a wicker bench. Both Fridas are holding each other’s hands; the Frida to our left has her left hand over the right hand of the Frida to our right.

subject matter

The Frida to our left holds a pair of surgical scissors, with drips of blood staining her white dress in two areas. This seemingly alludes to the beauty and fairness implied by the white dress being lost by the smearing of blood on it.

subject matter

The Frida to our right is wearing a traditional Tehuana costume. In her left hand, there is a small oval portrait between her thumb and forefinger, depicting an image of Diego Rivera when he was a child.


The painting was painted in oils, which was a medium Kahlo regularly utilized. She did not utilize too many bright colors; in fact, most of the color palette appears in neutral tones, even the yellow and red are not overly bright.

perspective and scale

If we look at the perspective and scale of The Two Fridas, it depicts a simple setting that is not significantly three-dimensional; the background appears close to the subject matter in the foreground.


The Two Fridas meaning could possibly be allocated to four different explanations that the artist incorporated in her painting, namely and most importantly, the hurt and sadness from her divorce from Diego Rivera.