|Background: Frida Kahlo (FREE dah CAW lo) was a famous Mexican painter. She loved Mexico and its folk art. Frida often used ideas from Mexican folk art traditions in her own artwork.
One Mexican folk art tradition is the retablo. A retablo is usually a painting of a saint or holy person. Retablo artists often paint on tin. Sometimes they add bits of paper or cloth to the painting. The artist leaves part of the tin showing. This makes the painting shiny and special.
Frida Kahlo did many self-portraits in retablo-style. She painted herself in Mexican costumes. Her colors were bold and eye-catching.
When Frida was 18, she was hurt in a bus accident. Her spine, pelvis, and foot were broken. After the accident, Frida was in constant pain. She found the courage to live by painting. She painted the things that were important to her – special days, dreams, and the world of her imagination. Frida painted with the same bold courage that helped her to survive.