The painting is an emotional and disturbing self-portrait representing her psychological condition at the time. Her husband Diego Rivera encouraged Frida to produce this painting with oil paint on a metal frame. The use of these material is unusual but historically have has been used by Mexican artists. Diego hoped that by Frida creating this work that it would help with her recovery.
In this painting we see a disturbing view of Frida lying naked on a hospital bed that has Henry Ford Hospital written on the side. The angle at which the bed and her body are positioned expresses a feeling of helplessness. In the background of the picture we can see an industrial complex which is The Ford factory at Detroit. With two references to Henry Ford in this picture is she acknowledging the help that she received from The Henry Ford Hospital or in her state of depression did she feel resentment.
Frida is laying on the bed in a pool of blood holding her stomach, a single tear is on her cheek. There are six red cords that emanate from her open hand that rests on her stomach. The end of each cord is tied to an object. There is a snail that Frida said referred to how long it took for her to miscarry. Next to the snail in the centre is a male foetus, an expression of her desire to have a boy. To the left is a model of the female reproductive organs and spinal column that perhaps attempts to connect her previous skeletal problems to her reproductive problems.
Below this is a small metallic object that has the appearance of a machine. It is not a recognizable device so perhaps a question. A body is like a machine, a machine can be repaired, why can my body not be repaired? To the right of the machine is a purple orchid. Diego had given her an orchid so perhaps with this she is acknowledging his support during this time. To the right of the orchid is a pelvic bone that appears to be slight distorted or damaged representing her inability to have children.