This is known to be Frida Kahlo's last painting, where she wrote the phrase "Viva la Vida" only eight days before she died. Despite her deteriorating health, the title of this work was a tribute to "live life".

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1910 or 1913?

This watercolor, signed by Kandinsky and dated 1910 has been considered the first abstract piece in the entire history of painting. However, today's experts believe that it actually dates from 1913 and that it was intended as a draft for another work 'Composition VII'.

First draft

It has been questioned whether this is a study made before the completion of another work. The style of this watercolor and the management of space suggest that this piece is closer to paintings done a few years later in 1913.

Drawings vs. color

This work is made up of watercolor touches overlaid with black lines drawn with pen and ink, dissociating the roles of drawing and color from one another.

Movement

The lines provide no outlines for the shapes, instead lending them a rhythmic sense of movement around the work.

Floating in space

The patches of color float in space in an liberated way. This is a common feature of works dating from after 1912: before then, the colors remained structured by images, which referenced Kandinsky's memory and personal recollections.

Untitled, Kandinsky, 1913

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Pair of crows

These two crows on the branch echo the two flying crows, and the crow pulling the crow catcher, to form three pairs of birds. What do these dark figures mean?

The eyes have it

The crow-catcher's eyes are the same yellow beads as the crow's. To catch their prey, the catcher has become crow-like themselves.

Surrealist skates

Leonora Carrington was a surrealist painter who fought for women's liberation. Are these ice-skates simply surrealist? Or are they a symbol of lightness, gliding, and freedom?

Crow Catcher, Leonora Carrington, 1990

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Loaf of bread, British Museum

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