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The Deceased Dimas

Frida Kahlo1937

Museo Dolores Olmedo

Museo Dolores Olmedo

The Deceased Little Dimas is one of Frida’s most remarkable paintings. It draws on the ancient Mexican custom of attiring the dead in tunics that, by their color and workmanship, recall the garments of saints and holy virgins. It was especially common to attire deceased children in this way, for they were considered “little angels” free of sin. Dimas was the son of a servant in Frida’s household, of whom she was especially fond. The attire worn by Dimas corresponds to that of St. Joseph. He holds a gladiola in his hand and his head rests on a lace-embroidered pillow, on which rests a religious card of Christ at the column. The boy’s body lays on a palm leaf mat on the floor, surrounded by flowers that include the Mexican marigold known as the cempoalxóchitl, the flower of the dead.

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