Frida Kahlo’s Life, Told In 9 Beautiful Illustrations

by Eleonor Botoman

Frida Kahlo has empowered generations of feminists with her provocative artwork about her disability following a terrible accident, her sexual freedom, her contemplations on motherhood and her Mexican heritage. Incorporating excerpts from her letters and diaries, this new book, Library of Luminaries: Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Biography (Chronicle Books) tells the artist’s story, from her early dreams to become a doctor and her relationship with Diego Rivera to how she developed her wonderfully eclectic wardrobe. All of these lovely illustrations were done by Nina Cosford and the text handwritten by Zena Alkayat. Want a sneak peak of this lovely book? We’ve chosen some of our favorite drawings just for you!

Frida 56 57“Frida continued to dress in traditional costume inspired by matriarchal Tehuana women from South Mexico. She carefully assembled her outfits each day, wearing ruffled skirts and embroidered tops. It was always a dazzling ensemble.”

Frida 109“Frida worked consistently in the 1940s, producing some of her best work. Her star was on the rise. She took part in several group shows and in 1943 she was invited to teach at La Esmeralda School of Painting and Sculpture

Frida 4“I paint myself because I am so often alone, because I am the subject I know best.” – Frida Kahlo

Frida 36 37“To distract herself, Frida borrowed paints from her father, and her mother hand an easel made so she could paint laying down.”

Frida 77“Frida loved wearing her hair in braids are unusual styles, dressed with flowers and combs.”

Frida 49“Frida married Diego on August 21, 1929. She was twenty-two, he was forty-two. She looked like a bright, beautiful bird next to the rotund, unattractive Diego. She nicknamed him ‘frog-toad.'”

Frida 103“Frida loved to overlay her outfits with beads, lace ribbons, and jewelry and to decorate her hands with myriad rings and bangles. She also wore two sets of teeth — a gold pair and a pair studded with diamonds.”

Frida 16 17“At six, Frida fell ill with polio. She was confined to her room for 9 months and her right leg withered. To help her gain strength, her father encouraged her to take up sports that were usually reserved for boys.”

 Frida 125

Frida Kahlo flat cover 

More from BUST 

21 Images By Female Artists That Will Make You Rethink The Self-Portrait 

Meet The Androgynous Lesbian Artist Who Painted Her Lovers During The 20th Century

This Artist Takes Fashion Inspiration From Frida Kahlo 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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