This topic continued and intensified dramatically towards the end of her life as her own health deteriorated. Graphic depictions of herself experiencing torment are a stark insight into her own struggles against physical adversity and pain.

The Broken Column, painted in 1944, is a work Kahlo produced a short while after undergoing spinal surgery.

This was just one of many medical procedures she endured during her lifetime to correct problems that were the result of her earlier accident. At the time of painting Kahlo was required to wear a steel corset as oppose to the plaster casts she had previously worn.

In the painting Kahlo sets herself against a bleak and fractured landscape that appears to have undergone as much upheaval and trauma as the artist. She has a deep and jagged fissure along the length of her near-naked torso allowing the viewer to see her spine shown as a cracked and ruptured Ionic stone column.

Her spinal column looks close to collapse particularly at the base. Nails of various sizes pierce her entire body and face adding to her suffering. Tears run freely and copiously down her cheeks.

Kahlo originally painted herself nude apart from the banded medical support corset she wears but later added a white surgical-looking sheet to cover her lower half. Her breasts are exposed and despite her body being mutilated her sensuality is still obviously apparent.

There are also strong echoes of Christian iconic martyrdom in the depiction of nails and sheets.

In spite of the agony being experienced there is a look of strength and defiance in Kahlo's face. Even though her body is injured and tortured it is apparent that her spirit is still intact.