"The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration." Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyoacán on the outskirts of Mexico City. Her father, the German-born Guillermo Kahlo, had immigrated to Mexico in 1891, while her mother, Matilde Calderón y Gonzalez, was of indigenous (Amerindian) and Spanish ancestry.
As a young girl, Kahlo excelled academically and planned to study medicine. But her life changed on September 17, 1925, when a city bus she was riding collided with a trolley car. Her extensive injuries included a broken spinal column, broken ribs, a broken pelvis, and an iron handrail had pierced her abdomen. These injuries kept Kahlo bedridden for more than a year, during which time she began to teach herself to paint to alleviate her boredom.
Kahlo was already a member of the Mexican Communist Party when she met Diego Rivera, who was at the time painting his murals for the Public Ministry of Education. Rivera encouraged Kahlo to pursue her painting. Although he was twenty years her elder, a relationship developed between Rivera and Kahlo and they married in 1929.
Their marriage was turbulent. Both had extramarital affairs, including Kahlo's relationship with the Communist leader Leon Trotsky. After Kahlo learned of her husband's affair with her younger sister Cristina in 1939, the couple divorced, but remarried a year later. Kahlo died on July 13, 1954, at the age of 47. Today, a pre-Columbian urn holding her ashes is on display in her former home, The Blue House, in Coyoacán.