A Description of the Painting
The background of the painting features images of the moon and sun. The two halves (light and darkness) are divided equally, each taking up one side of the background. At the center of the painting is a painting of Frida sitting on a wooden chair and weeping. In this particular image, she is dressed in a red Tehuana costume. Despite her condition, the heroine sits strong and confident. The painting also shows Frida holding a pink orthopedic corset in one hand as she sits. On her other hand, she holds a flag with the words Tree of Hope, Remain Firm. The words are lyrics from a popular Spanish song called Cielito Lindo. The flag features a thin yellow pole with a red tip. The tip looks like a piece of surgical equipment stained with blood.
Some critics say that it resembles a paintbrush dipped in blood or red paint. Behind her is another image of a woman lying on a hospital trolley. The image represents the other side of Frida, where she has just come out of surgery. The second image of Frida Kahlo, who appears to be under anesthesia, shows off her back with open surgical incisions and blood dripping from them. The painting also features a barren landscape which is thought to be a metaphor for the wound on Frida's back.
Motivation for the Painting
At eighteen years old. Frida was involved in a near-fatal bus accident. The accident left her with injuries in her pelvis, uterus, and spine. She went through a lot of physical pain, medical procedures, and emotional pain and stress after the accident. She made the painting as a dramatic justapose of the severity of her condition and the amount of pain she has suffered against her determination to make the best of her life and continue living in style. At the time of the painting’s composition, Frida Khalo has just returned to Mexico after a botched surgery in New York.
Frida made the painting for her patron, Eduardo Morillo Safa. Accompanied with the painting was a letter she wrote her patron telling him about the composition and the scars she had received from the operation. The painting is currently part of the Daniel Filapacchi Collection in Paris, France.