Frida Kahlo Paints "Frieda and Diego Rivera"

In 1931, while in San Francisco, Frida painted "Frieda and Diego Rivera", a folkloric style double-portrait that may have been based on a wedding photograph.

The painting, shown at the "Sixth Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists", was the first public showing of her work.

In 1931, Kahlo painted “Frieda and Diego Rivera,” one of the first of her paintings on display in the current exhibition. Kahlo used flat, finely modulated brush stokes to execute this striking double portrait. With the exception of the flaming scarlet of her shawl, the color range is somber, dominated by the drab olive and earth tones of the background. At first glance, this might be a depiction of an 18th century Spanish official and his wife, with a dove bearing a banner in its beak proclaiming his status in the colonial government. Diego appears stiff and austere, yet self-assured as he clutches his paint brushes and palette as a viceroy would have held the ceremonial baton of his office. Frida, tiny of stature, with incredibly small feet, shrinks into the role of a submissive, obedient spouse.

This folkloric style double-portrait may have been based on their wedding photograph. It was completed about two years after their marriage while Frida and Diego were in San Francisco. The difference in height between the couple is not exaggerated. Frida's dainty feet barely touch the ground and she appears to float beside her larger than life husband. With his palette and brushes in hand, Rivera is portrayed as an artist while she, dressed in traditional Mexican clothes, presents herself only as the adoring wife.

...valuable only because it was painted by the wife of Diego Rivera

— A San Francisco Newspaper