Cover image for Frida Kahlo : the brush of anguish
Frida Kahlo : the brush of anguish
Zamora, Martha, 1940-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Frida. English
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
143 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Frida.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND259.K33 Z3613 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
ND259.K33 Z3613 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Nearly 40 years after her death, Kahlo is no longer a cult hero but rather one of the most recognized and recognizable artists of her time. The themes of her life--poor health, pain, lameness, abortions, loneliness, depression--are also the themes of her art. These 75 masterfully reproduced paintings, ten equally remarkable duotone photographs, and descriptive text by Zamora, tell the story of Kahlo's intense and tragic life. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) has been a legendary figure for women artists and is now becoming more widely known both for herself and for her paintings. A beautiful, passionate, and audacious woman with a flair for the dramatic, Kahlo suffered lifelong pain and fatigue after being injured in a streetcar accident, but this didn't keep her from painting or marrying Diego Rivera. The petite young beauty and the famous fat man embarked on an intense and tempestuous relationship riddled by infidelities. She was famous for her gay attire (she wore traditional Mexican dress and elaborate jewelry and hairstyles), but many of Kahlo's disturbing, symbolic paintings are tortured self-portraits depicting her physical and emotional suffering. Well told and well illustrated with 75 color reproductions, including many previously unknown works as well as striking photographs of the artist in all her regal splendor, this is an outstanding overview of an extraordinary life. Bibliography. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The work of Kahlo (1907-1954), a Mexican painter of painful, irresistible power, comes to life in the brooding self-portraits, potent parables of nature, and politically charged mythologies reproduced here in the first English-language book to provide an inclusive sampling of her art. Freelance writer Zamora's biographical essay reveals Kahlo's dark and difficult lot. Stricken with polio as a child, at 18 the painter was hurt in a streetcar accident that led to many operations, intense physical suffering and, eventually, the partial amputation of a leg. Kahlo pursued, and later married, muralist Diego Rivera, who often betrayed her sexually, once with her sister. Briefly divorced in 1939, they remarried with the agreement that each could have affairs; Kahlo allied herself romantically with many women and men, among them Leon Trotsky. But the drama of her personal history retreats before the startling force of the 75 pictures reproduced here, art tormented yet contained by a sense of inner wisdom. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Frida Kahlo's cult reputation has been blossoming for over ten years, particularly among feminists. Rumors that Madonna is planning a film about the artist will probably generate mainstream interest in, if not understanding of, her disturbingly personal works. The complexities of Kahlo's painful, joyful, notorious, and gay life are well presented in the text. Despite obvious affection for the subject, Zamora neither glosses over Kahlo's nonconformity nor tries to make a martyr of her. Yet however fair, these biographical notes are sparse and anecdotal, whetting the newcomer's interest but not offering much to the informed reader. More important here is the collection of 75 color plates of the artist's original works. Of interest to the initiated because they comprise largely seldom-seen works in various Mexican collections, these plates represent the best collection now available of Kahlo's work. Recommended for most collections as a companion to Hayden Herrera'a Frida ( LJ 1/15/83), a readable and complete biography.-- Eric Bryant, ``Library Journal'' (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.