This is Frida's first self portrait. It was painted as a gift for her student boyfriend, Alejandro Gomez Arias, who had left her. It was given as a token of love by which she hoped to restore his affection and keep her in his thoughts. Her plea for his love worked and, not long after Alejandro received the portrait, they were rejoined.
The aristocratic pose reflects Frida's interest in the paintings of the Italian Renaissance period. This self portrait is Frida's interpretation of Botticelli's "Venus" which Alejandro admired. The same style would later appear in her Portrait of Alicia Galant, 1927, and Portrait of Adriana, 1927.
Frida began this self portrait in the summer of 1926 and sent it to Alejandro in late September. On the back of the painting she inscribed a dedication: "For Alex. Frida Kahlo, at the age of 17, September 1926 - Coyoacan -Heute ist Immer Noch" (Today still goes on).
In March 1927, Alejandro's parents sent him...
female artistself portraitautodidactself taughtoil on canvas