Artists of this (naturalistic) type of artwork have a keen interest in the subject's emotions and current situations. While you can read some of the feelings automatically on the portraits, others need a deeper understanding and an artistic thought to interpret. Encouraged into doing painting by her husband Diego Rivera, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo first painted friends and family portraits. Portrait of Virginia; Little Girl, is a painting she did on herself as the subject when she had just gotten married. The painter has a soft touch to the art exuding notable differences on the background and the subject's relatively primitive era she lived.
In the painting, Kahlo paints herself seated on a chair with her hair parted in the middle and plaited, gazing at the camera in a bid to avoid distractions from her surroundings. With her soft paint, the painter detailed on the subject’s dress and facial expression. Her olive green polka dotted dress, and her blank stare could interpret to the endless chain of thought she had focused herself on as a young girl in marriage.
The innocence portrayed in the painting can be felt considering her young seemingly weak frame and the shyly clutching of her hands on the thighs. At the time of the Mexican Indian girl painting, Kahlo had not yet established her painting career; she probably picked up ideas from her painter husband as she tried her hands first on more straightforward pictures although you can feel the caring touch she adds to the details.
The background of the painting which is in simple horizontal divisions of purple and yellow colors fine-tune the painting's subject bringing out vividly her face and outfit. Comparing Kahlo’s Portrait of Virginia to her other works like Portrait of Lucha Maria, A Girl From Tehuacan and Self-portrait With Loose Hair, there are developmental strides in her painting career.
The next pieces of art have defined hues and tones with different strokes of bold colors; evident of identification of personal style away from her master. Kahlo had now become a prowess with her brush and painting and did several other portraits including the Portrait of a Woman In White, Portrait Of Alejandro Gomez Arias and Self-portrait In A Velvet Dress. Other inspirations that came from her pieces include the works of Vadja Lajos with Sisters and Marian Aslamazian's Myself & Eran in the Mirror. Portrait of Virginia is currently in Mexico City in Museo Dolores Olmedo under the collection of Dolores Olmedo.