In Frida's painting of her and Diego, she recorded the up and downs of her marriage. She draws this painting, Frieda and Diego Rivera, 1931, as a wedding portrait. This was completed after two years of their conjugal life. In this painting, Frida adopted the stiff pose which is an influence of naive nineteenth-century painters such as Jose Maria Estrada, whose work influenced Diego Rivera also. An enlightening engraving on a strip in the snout of a pigeon (a gadget both Frida and Diego obtained from such craftsmen as Estrada and from well-known craftsmanship) is as straightforward in tone as the painting is folkloric in style:
Here you see us, me Frieda Kahlo, with my dearest husband Diego Rivera. I painted these pictures in the delightful city of San Francisco California for our companion Mr. Albert Bender, and it was in the month of April of the year 1931."
(Bender, a Rivera supporter, had secured consent for Rivera to enter the United States after he was declined a visa due to his well-known Communism.)
|Photo of Frieda and Diego Rivera|
This painting, Frieda and Diego Rivera, indicates at what the Riveras' marriage would get to be. As solidly planted like an oak, Rivera looks colossal beside his wife. Dismissing from her, he shakes his palette and brushes - he is the extraordinary maestro. Frida, whose little feet scarcely brush the ground, cocks her make a beeline for her great mate. This painting shows her favorite image: the genius's adoring wife.
She was holding his hand with the lightest possible clasp. Frida understood that Diego belongs to nobody. Even while she was painting this
portrait, Rivera was in an affair with tennis champion Helen Wills. He painted her nude image on the ceiling of the Luncheon Club of the Pacific
Stock Exchange in San Francisco.
Later Frida was to remark:
Being the wife of Diego is the most marvelous thing in the world ... I let him play matrimony with other women. Diego is not anybody's husband and never will be, but he is a great comrade."
Nevertheless, she wanted to be his favorite comrade: in the exact center of her wedding portrait are the couple's hold hands holding together. The turning point of Frida's life was the marriage bond.