Go beyond the paintings and discover the life of the icon behind the scenes.
Step through the cobalt walls of La Casa Azul —also known as “The Blue House” — and get to know the artist through the private universe located in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City. Easily one of the most recognizable houses in the capital, the vibrant blue villa where Kahlo spent most of her life, has turned into a museum that you can peruse virtually.
Frida’s work has always been a bold and colorful reflection of her identity, with themes of gender, disability, politics and Mexican culture fiercely running through it. While her paintings are evocative, this virtual tour of her private residents in Mexico will reveal a lesser-known side of the legendary artist through and her personal possessions that helped shape her visual voice.
Everything from her pigments facing her easel, the linens on her bed to the flowers next to it have been perfectly preserved and her spirit is easily felt in every single artifact, even virtually. The bright yellow kitchen is filled with playful ceramics where she and her husband Diego Rivera would entertain prominent guests—including Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky, with whom she allegedly had a brief affair.
In this traditional Mexican family home, where Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, and where she died 47 years later, you experience an intimate atmosphere that speaks to her struggles with her frail body and to her quirky imagination through a collection of symbolic objects. You’ll get a strong sense of this in her art studio where her wheelchair is angled in front of an easel. Or in the day bedroom, where you’ll find a mirror on the ceiling of her four-post bed and at the foot, that the bed-ridden artist would spend hours painting self-portraits in. Along with that, there are letters and old photographs of them that bring the couples rich and tumultuous history to life.
It was first bought by her father in 1904 and turned into a national museum four years after her death. During her time there with Diego Rivera, when Mexico City was fast becoming a hotspot for intellectuals, the pair slowly transformed it into a treasure chest of remarkable trinkets and details. Upon close inspection, you’ll find walls studded with volcanic rock and ceramics by Rivera.
Along with these artistic additions, there’s also the famous inscription in Spanish that reads “Frida and Diego lived in this house – 1929-1954.” As you wander outside into the pre-Columbian courtyard, you’ll notice a red pyramid replete with some Aztec and Toltec works. Of course, La Casa Azul is also home to some of the painter’s most significant works such as the Long Live Life (1954), Frida and the Caesarian Operation (1931), and Portrait of My Father Wilhelm Kahlo (1952).
[Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons]