Diego and Frida: A Smile at Halfway

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: historical records

By Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Frida painting "Naturaleza viva" (Living Nature) in bed, with Diego at her side (1952) by Juan GuzmánMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

A Couple Like No Other

Frida and Diego are icons of the Mexican identity and unconditional love.

The Rivera Barrientos twins (ca. 1887) by Vicente ContrerasMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Parallel Lives

Diego Rivera and his twin brother, Carlos, were born in December 1886, although Carlos died 18 months later. The tragedy would haunt the painter throughout his life; he depicted his brother in several of his murals, including "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park."

Diego Rivera at the Academy of San Carlos (1902) by Autor no identificadoMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Diego began studying at the Academy of San Carlos at a young age, and in 1905 he won a scholarship, allowing him to continue his training in Paris.

Frida Kahlo aged 4 (1911) by Guillermo KahloMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

In 1907, Rivera was studying art in Spain; on July 6 of that year, Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico City, in the Blue House in Coyoacán.

Diego Rivera reading in his studio in Rue du Départ, Paris (1915) by Autor no identificadoMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

In September 1910, Rivera decided to return to Mexico to display his work from his time in Europe, though soon after he returned to the Old Continent.

Frida Kahlo as a student (1926) by Guillermo KahloMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

This is the year that Frida Kahlo decided would be the year of her "birth," having fully identified with the revolutionary ideals, and considering herself to be the daughter of the Mexican Revolution.

Diego Rivera as an art student in Madrid (ca. 1908) by Autor no identificadoMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Diego returned to Mexico in 1921 and began work on a mural entitled "The Creation" in the Bolívar amphitheater within the National High School. Frida Kahlo joined this institution in 1922, and it was there that they met.

Frida and Diego at the head of a march of the Syndicate of Revolutionary Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers. The union was founded by Rivera, Xavier Guerrero, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco (detail). (1o. de mayo de 1929) by Enrique DíazMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo


As well as having a mutual love for art, both were activists of the Mexican left.

Frida and Diego on their wedding day, at the Reyes Studio in Coyoacán (agosto 21 de 1929) by Ernesto ReyesMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

"Yo te cielo" (I sky you)

Six years later, Frida showed Diego her work, who offered the effusive encouragement: "Carry on, young lady. You have talent."  Their romance blossomed, and in 1929 the couple married. It was Kahlo's first marriage, but Rivera's third.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo at a Red Aid demonstration in Mexico City (20 de noviembre de 1931) by autor no identificadoMuseo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

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