The Wounded Deer, 1946 Frida Kahlo

The Wounded Deer 1946 Frida Kahlo

Despite leading a painful life, Frida Kahlo always hoped to improve her physical health. For this reason, he underwent an operation in New York in 1946 that, according to what was supposed to alleviate his extreme back pain, however, the operation was in vain. When he returned to Mexico his back pain returned and he fell into a deep depression. In the painting of the “Wounded Deer” we can see that at the end there is a clear blue sky, like a very distant hope that one day it could improve, but everything indicates that the Deer would never reach that place. The body of the deer has nine arrows, five are concentrated between its back and stomach, while the other four are between its neck and chest, all of them sprout a little blood, but the one that has the most blood is the one that crosses its neck . The head of the Deer is Frida’s head, from which two enormous and imposing horns emerge, perhaps trying to reflect her strength; Despite everything, he was always a person who did not let himself fall and his feelings were drained in his magnificent works of art.

Frida had a little deer called “granizo” from which she was inspired to paint herself as this animal. It could be said that the deer is the perfect representation of an innocent and defenseless animal that, with the face of Frida Kahlo, looks strong despite multiple injuries. Beneath the Deer is a large broken branch, which could represent the suffering he felt due to the leg that was amputated due to gangrene that was forming. In addition, there is a Mexican tradition that consists of placing a broken branch on top of the graves, by which, perhaps the artist meant that her deteriorated state of health was about to come to an end. The place where the Deer is in the painting seems to be a very old forest or swamp, where the trees are dark, dead and broken. Perhaps, these types of trees represented in this way express the mental state of the artist, a place where darkness and depression reigned. On the lower left side we can see Frida Kahlo’s signature next to the word “Carma”, which refers to destiny. So, it could be interpreted that the artist was convinced that everything that happened to her in her life was part of her destiny and was something that could never change, perhaps because of behaviors in her past lives.

After some time, specifically on May 3, 1946, the painting, The Wounded Deer, was given from the hands of the same artist to her dear friends Lina and Arcady Boyter as a sentimental wedding gift. In the note, Frida specified that the painting reflected her pain, but she wanted them to have it so that she would always be present. On the other side of the note he wrote «the rete deer was alone, sad and very wounded, until he found warmth and a nest in arcady and lina».

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