17 November 2021
FRIDA KAHLO PAINTING SELLS FOR $34.9 MILLION
Kahlo’s self-portrait with her husband Diego Rivera broke sales records for Latin American art at the Sotheby’s auction Tuesday, 16 November 2021. Entitled “Diego y yo,” Kahlo painted it in 1949 she died in 1959 at the age of forty-seven.
Kahlo’s sale surpassed the highest price for her husband’s work--$9.8 million for his painting “The Rivals” (1931). The Rivera sold in 2018.
Painted in the aftermath of Diego Rivera’s affair with actress María Felíx, the painting is small: 24” x 8 ½ inches, but emotionally-intense. Unlike in many other self-portraits, Frida Kahlo’s hair is not braided or adorned with flowers.
Frida Kahlo started painted seriously after a nearly-fatal bus accident. The accident forced her to undergo thirty-five surgeries. She married Diego Rivera only four years after the accident. He was twenty years older than she. Both she and Rivera had many extramarital affairs.
She was already becoming a star during her lifetime. Her photo was in Vogue in 1937.
Mexican laws restrict the sale of Kahlo paintings so there are few Kahlo paintings on the market.
“Diego y yo,” was bought by Eduardo F. Costantini, Chairman of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. It is reported that the painting is for his private collection.
The painting was last sold in 1990. At that time, it was the first Latin American painting to sell for over $1 million.
Kahlo, Diego and I (1949) Sotheby’s image.