The Broken Column

By Museo Dolores Olmedo
Touch & Hold

The Broken Column was painted shortly after Frida had undergone surgery on her spinal column.

The operation left her bedridden and “locked” in a metallic corset, which helped to alleviate the intense, and constant pain, she was in.

In the painting she is depicted standing in the middle of a completely arid, cracked landscape.

Her torso is wrapped in metal belts lined with fabric that provide pressure and support for her back. They help to prevent her body from the breakdown revealed right in the middle of her chest.

A completely fractured Ionic column on the verge of collapse has replaced her spinal column.

Frida’s head rests on the capital. Although her face is bathed in tears, it reflects no sign of pain. That is how she always presented herself to life: strong and defiant to the viewer.

The nails piercing her body are a symbol of the constant pain she faced.

The largest ones, along the column, mark the damage caused by the accident in 1925...

...while those clinging on her left breast refer moreover to an emotional pain, to her sense of solitude.

When asked once why she so often portrayed herself, Frida replied that it was because she was always alone and whom she best knew.

The Broken Column by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

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