Iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born, lived and died in the ‘Blue House’, six blocks north of Plaza Hidalgo. Almost every visitor to Mexico City makes a pilgrimage here to gain a deeper understanding of the painter (and maybe to pick up a Frida handbag). Built by her father Guillermo three years before Frida’s birth, the house is littered with mementos and personal belongings that evoke her long, often tempestuous relationship with husband Diego Rivera and the leftist intellectual circle they often entertained here.

Kitchen implements, jewellery, outfits, books and other objects from the artist’s everyday life are interspersed with art, photos and letters, as well as a variety of pre-Hispanic art and Mexican crafts. The collection was greatly expanded in 2007 upon the discovery of a cache of previously unseen items that had been stashed in the attic. Kahlo’s art expresses the anguish of her existence as well as her flirtation with socialist icons: portraits of Lenin and Mao hang around her bed, and in the upstairs studio an unfinished portrait of Stalin stands before a poignantly positioned wheelchair. In another painting, Retrato de la Familia (Family Portrait), the artist’s Hungarian-Oaxacan roots are fancifully entangled.

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