Portrait of Luther Burbank

One of Frida's frequent topics in her paintings was duality. She explored life and death in this artwork.

Touch & Hold

Frida painted the Portrait of Luther Burbank in San Francisco in 1931.

Burbank was a scientist and horticulturist who experimented with plant and vegetable hybrids. His research impressed Frida so that she decided to immortalize him in a painting as the result of one of his own experiments

half man...

...half tree.

A trunk whose roots wind through a skeleton, under the ground, which may be that of Burbank himself, has replaced his legs and feet.

In one of his hands he holds one of the plants he worked with,

...while other fruits of his experiments occupy the surrounding landscape.

This is one of the paintings that show the duality Frida often represented in her work: in this case life/death.

As in a food chain, man obtains his nourishment from the earth, but his corpse will be given back to it, to be fed on in its turn.

Portrait of Luther Burbank by Frida KahloMuseo Dolores Olmedo

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