Kahlo and Rivera part 2


A portrait of Frida Kahlo at Diego Rivera’s house in San Angel, Mexico city.


Study in yellow, Diego’s house. Sculpture by Alberto de la Vega, 1966. Hmm. Rivera died in 1957, so what is that doing there?


Portrait of Dolores Olmedo by Diego Rivera. 1955. Dolores Olmedo (1908-2002) was a Mexican entrepreneur and patron of the arts. She founded one of the largest construction companies in Mexico. A long time friend of Frida and Diego, she held one of the largest collection of their work. Her old colonial house is now the Dolores Olmedo museum. The dress she wears is the typical costume of the women of Tehuantepec, called Tehuanas. A very popular dress in the 40’s and 50’s among artists and intellectuals in Mexico. Frida often dressed so.


Study in blue. Diego Rivera’s house. Architect: Juan O’Gorman.


Study in mauve? Jacaranda at Diego Rivera’s house. Jacaranda’s here bloom in February-March. In South Africa and East Africa it happens in the Fall. Weird. Why the doubt about “mauve”? I’m slightly colour blind. Some “subtleties” of colour escape me. I can’t really tell that “mauve” from a “blue”. I just call it “mauve” because I’ve been “told” jacarandas are mauve. 😉


Portrait of Eva Frederick, by Frida Kahlo, c.1931. Frederick was a New York friend of both Frida and Diego. Couldn’t find out who she was.


Rivera’s workshop, San Angel.


Juan Leonardo Cordero, 1932. This is a replica of the original, Aztec-inspired based relief at the YWCA, Mexico city. Why is it at Rivera’s house? Don’t know. Captions could be improved I guess? Or maybe we should have rented the audio-guide? Hate those things.


Juan O’Gorman (1905-1982) was the architect of Diego Rivera’s house in 1932. Read somewhere he’d been influenced by Le Corbusier. Figures. He also decorated the entire “façade” of the library of the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). The things you learn doing research! Now I have to look for a picture… wait a sec. There!


UNAM Library, mosaic by Juan O’Gorman. Celebrating science. See ‘Ptolomeo’ and ‘Copernico’. 1950-1956. An impressive work of detail.


Juan O’Gorman. “Entre filosofía y ciencia”. (Between philosophy and science) Mid 30’s? At Diego Rivera’s house. This painting’s location is any – would-be – photographer’s nightmare. Too much light from a window above right. Small room. No space to take a good single shot. Just lift your “camera” (Iphone really) as high as you can, hope for the best and Photoshop.


The Spanish text says: “In antiquity, philosophy and science were the same thing. Today, philosophy only serves to disguise the unknown as truth. Science is the only way to know reality in all orders of human activity…” Food for thought. Thank you, Juan.


Back to Diego Rivera. c.1939. The nude behind is a model called Maudelle Bass.


“Mother Earth”, by Rivera, 1926. Dedicated to Manuel Mesa? Model would be Lupe (Guadalupe) Marín.


Chinelos, by Renate Reichert, Bremerhaven, 1939. (Dolores Olmedo museum) Reichert lived over 20 years in Mexico city and did a series or works inspired by the work of Frida. Chinelos still exist and dance in the street near our house:

A-IMG_6821 Chinelos-A

Chinelos wearing their traditional costume and masks. Two blocks away from our house. Tlalpan, Mexico city. c. 2018


“Frida mi vida, cielito lindo.” “Frida, my life (a local term of endearment), pretty sky (a traditional Mexican song)”. Renate Reichert again, in an allusion to a double self-portrait Frida painted in 1939: A IMG_8432-A

Frida at Dolores Olmedo museum.


Russian nurse, Diego Rivera, 1956. Frida had died on July 1954. Rivera went to the USSR c. 1956 for medical treatment. Hence the Russian nurse I guess. (Dolores Olmedo museum). He returned to Mexico and died in 1957.


“Sun and life”, by Frida Kahlo, 1947. Dolores Olmedo museum. Frida Kahlo’ work is very diverse. I personally prefer this kind of work to her more well-known “bleeding-heart” style. It seems to me those latter works “trap” Frida in a long life of bed-ridden suffering, when in fact she was a very active woman. (The virtues  of research).


Magdalena Frida Carmen Kahlo Calderón. (Olmedo Museum)

Thank you as usual for visiting Equinoxio’s virtual art museum. Stay safe. (It ain’t over) 🙏🏻😷



91 thoughts on “Kahlo and Rivera part 2

  1. It’s a great virtual museum as well some new to me…and I also love the Tehuanas…and the necklaces…living in soft clothes all these months now I feel like dressing up 🤓☺️…and now I can read some more about Renate…be well Brian 🙋‍♀️ enjoy the stuffed mushrooms I’m going to try them tomorrow 😂🤣 thanks for the ideas and poems and art! Hugs Hedy 🤗

    • Pas de quoi. I’m working on “stock” a bit. ‘had been doing “advance” posts, but my supply is getting short. Need to prepare some more this week…
      Tout va bien chez toi? Le nombre de cas semble augmenter dangereusement… 😷🙏🏻

      • That is a good idea! I have stated to list some ideas for future subjects but I wish I had your forward thinking!
        Yes, numbers still rise like clouds but still good here en la belle bretagne –
        pour l’instant!

      • Touchons du bois. En fait je fais parfois plusieurs posts à la file. Comme j’ai décidé de ne publier – en principe – que le Mardi, ça m’évite de stresser si j’ai qq chose d’autre sur le feu ce jour là. Et je poste vers midi, ce qui est bien pour les Amériques, et OK pour la France, ça fait 19h.
        Bon courage.

  2. I’m a huge fan of Kahlo the naturalist surrealist though her work has been described as naive. Her lifestyle is a curiosity that is captivating. Thank you for the tour Brian, I was under the impression that the Blue house belonged to Frida and That Diego lived in his own separate home. Not so? beautiful photos and paintings and narrative, I enjoyed this tremendously!

    • Hi Coeur de Feu. Critics tend to invent “classification” to encage artists… e.g. “magical realism” as applied to García Marquez and others.
      The Blue house in Coyocán did belong to Frida, and she lived there. It is a somewhat colonial building. Haven’t been there in ages. Now Diego’s house was a modern “thing” built by O’Gorman, mostly concrete in colour, but some parts were painted blue. As in the picture I showed.
      Stay safe. 🙏🏻😷

  3. Personnellement, je ne suis pas un grand fan de Diego Ribeira ni comme homme ni comme peintre. Alors si des petits cailloux se glissent dans son musée, j’applaudis ! Quant au mauve, c’est un violet pâle qui tire légèrement vers le bleu. Daltoniens ou daltonniennes ou non, nous percevons tous les couleurs de manière différente. Cela n’a aucun sens de comparer “mon” jaune avec le “jaune” que perçoit ma femme. Il y a une frange de couleurs entre le vert et le bleu qui prête à quiproquos et à discussions. En revanche, très au dessus de nous, il y a la squille qui a des capteurs pour au moins 15 couleurs différentes, dont 355 nm, la couleur ultraviolette du laser de aeolus, avec leur polarité. Je m’incline bas !
    Merci pour la visite, Brieuc, et une douce et heureuse journée à toi.

    • Bien d’accord. Diego Rivera était un personnage… excessif. Mais son art mural (malgré le look “Soviet-art”? reste très intéressant. Il est vrai que beaucoup de références Mexicaines peuvent en rendre la lecture difficile aux “étrangers”.
      Et on est bien d’accord: les couleurs sont une convention. Utile.
      Bonne soirée Gilles.

  4. Very neat trip again Brian. Thank you. I think I would call the Jacaranda purple, something in between purple and pink. Well, perhaps that indeed is mauve 🙂 I’m not totally convinced by Juan O’Gormans definition of filosophy and science… Was he from Irish descent? The Russian Nurse I find a wonderful piece! And I think from now on we should use Frida’s full name. I want to be called like that. 🙂

    • Purple now? That’s interesting Peter.
      I may or may not agree with parts of his declaration. One has to understand he wrote/painted that in the 30’s/40’s when there was a raging debate between Marxists and non-Marxists. I still think it is a very powerful writing for discussion. I would put as a subject for dissertation in the French Bacalauréat… (Or Abitur?) 😉
      His father or grandfather was certainly Irish. Many Irish emigrated in the 19th, 20th century…

    • Interesting choices. Which I share…
      Smoky? Fires are up again, huh? Hard to imagine when it’s raining cats and dogs here every day… The sky is low. It feels like winter. Wish we could send you some rain…

      • I wish you could too. It probably won’t rain until December. Fires in napa and Sonoma and solano. And also in Nevada county and the Lake Tahoe area. Three directions…

      • Bad… I was (re)reading a Sue Grafton novel the other day. I think it was nearly 40 years old and I thought she mentioned the fires… been around for so much time, and no solution yet… a shame.

      • I’m sure there are many factors. Part natural part human driven. In the South of France there have been raging fires since the 50’s 60’s when tourism started to develop in the region. Sometimes a single glass shard from a beer bottle thrown out the car window is enough to start a fire… Sigh.

  5. I like how artists riff off each other, like the two Fridas in another style by Renate. The Mother Earth drawing by Rivera reminds me of Eve in one of his murals. I couldn’t find the location of it, but have a strong picture in my mind. Gracias, R

  6. Thank you for the additional Kahlo and Rivera exhibit. I enjoyed it. I have to agree with you about “Sun and LIfe.” It’s a painting I want to keep looking at. I find the photo of Diego and the nude painting rather strange. He and the model seem to have the same disconsolate expression on their faces.

    • Glad you liked it Liz.
      Expression. Bear in mind that smiling in a photograph is relatively recent. In classical portraits no-one is smiling. Two hours posing with a smile would have been impossible.
      Same went with photos. Initial exposure was long. and people had to stay perfectly still. My first family photos with smiles start around the 40’s…

    • Que bueno que te gustó. 🙏🏻
      Estoy bien, sólo me está empezando a afectar el lockdown, sinceramente… Ya ha sido muchos meses y pinta para más…
      anyway. Paciencia. (Que es lo que menos tengo…) 😉🙏🏻

  7. Fascinating, many thanks for putting it together. It’s cold and finally wet, in South Australia, and boy is the rain making the vegie garden look SO much better! But not the weather to be outside….

  8. Beautiful overview. I also went to the house two years ago 🙂 And I love the Jacaranda. They were fully in bloom too when I was there.

  9. Oh, I feel your pain with Entre filosofía y ciencia! Also, you are color blind! It is so interesting what we learn about bloggers just here and there. Recently I came across a blog on this which featured lots of photos on the different types. That was so interesting how some people see the world, plus those pictures would look completely different to you!

    • I am all the way “behind” Science. Only facts should matter.
      Now, Philosophy? It is another avenue of thought for me. I’ve always read a lot of philosophy (and science). Just got stuck on Kant again. Never liked his writing style… 😉 I will soon move on to Heidegger…
      Now colour blind? Only very slightly fortunately. A friend of mine only saw “shades of grey”. Nothing more. Some mix up red and green, I don’t. My “variety” is that I can’t differentiate some greens from some browns. Your basic military colours. (Which is why I had a hard time in the Army) 🤣

      • Ha ha. You enjoy your reading material Brian! Kant is really not easy to read. Although I found Bourdieu even harder. Maybe that’s why so many people rather watch Michael Moore? 😉

      • LOL. Must be. I got stuck on Kant in Terminale. Last year before Baccalauréat (Abitür?). Then later on I realized it must have to do – somewhat – with the structure of the German language. Or the german sentence. it’s all right. Attacking Hegel soon.
        Bourdieu, or Derrida I have avoided. I love Lévi-Stauss, his language has a clarity not many have now…
        How did you come by Bourdieu? What did you study?
        A bientôt…

      • Salut. Bourdieu and I had the pleasure in Sociology and Art History, both my minors at Uni. I actually wrote a paper on 1 of his books. I had to read that damn thing 3 times. I did get an A and I found that paper years later and had absolutely no clue what I was talking about there 😉 Which makes me wonder, I should’ve gone study something useful … So what do you do with a Cultural Studies degree? Write a mediocre blog 😉 Tschüß

      • Write a fun blog. That’s what you do. Sorry for the delay. I just realized I had more than 20 messages “pending”. (Eliminated form view by WP) Tschüß

      • No probs. I’m always behind as it is. I’ll try to do something fun. I promise! I booked a few writing classes but it’s a fine line between motivation & demotivation … 😉 It is what it is … It will be OK

      • Hey Brian, that’s weird, I replied to your comment?!? I had the pleasure with Bordieu twice; in sociologie and art history, both my minors. I actually wrote a paper about one of his books and found it years later, not understanding a word 😉 After years with my Cultural Studies degree I wonder sometimes, if I had studied something more useful 😉

      • Yes you did. Reply. Sociology and Art History are fascinating disciplines. I once hired a Sociologist (for market research) who’d studied with Touraine. An author I appreciate.
        Define useful? 😉
        If those were your minors, what was your major?
        (Oh, and how fantastic to have found your paper. Keep it preciously. I have found my philosophy notebook from my Senior high school class. Great!)

  10. You live in the country of rich culture, Brian. I love Rivera’s art, especially the murals, even though he died in the year I was born – I learnt about him early in school. Poor man believed in everything ‘socialism’, but I don’t blame him. It is a very powerful ideology saturated with lies.
    Jacaranda is such a beautiful tree.

    • Fascinating. Thanks for the link. I’d never seen that mural (even in photograph). Only went once to Detroit to present a survey to GM. All day meetings, in and out… I have to go back to Detroit. 😉
      Take care Carol.

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