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Frida and the Miscarriage

Frida Kahlo1932

Museo Dolores Olmedo

Museo Dolores Olmedo

During the period following her miscarriage, Frida produced a lithograph entitled Frida and the Miscarriage. Only three proofs of the twelve that she originally made are still in existence; Frida herself destroyed all the others. In the left margin she wrote in English: “These proofs are not good nor bad considering your experience. Work harder and you will get better results". She portrays herself standing nude with a necklace around her neck and large tears running down her cheeks. There is a fetus in her womb and beside her, connected to her by an umbilical cord, a second fetus of a larger child. Blood runs down her leg from her vagina and seeps into the earth, nourishing it and giving life to plants in the form of a child’s eyes, hands, and genitals. The waxing moon in the sky also weeps as it gazes at Frida, who is holding a heart-shaped palette in her left hand, as though painting constituted a refuge from her lost maternity.“Many things prevented the fulfillment of the desire all consider normal,” said Frida, “and nothing seemed more normal to me than to paint what I had not achieved.” On another occasion she explained it in this way: “My painting carries within a message of pain. . . Painting completed my life. I lost three children. . . Painting replaced all of that". Frida and the Miscarriage was her only incursion into lithography. It seems the technique was complicated for her and little suited to her artistic purposes.

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