Frida Kahlo Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Frida Kahlo Net Worth

Frida Kahlo had an estimated net worth of $5 million at death. Painter Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who was married to Diego Rivera and is still admired as a feminist icon. She earned most of her income from her career as an artist. 

Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s greatest artists, began painting mostly self-portraits after being severely injured in a bus accident. In 1929, Kahlo married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera and became politically active. Before her death in 1954, she exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico.

To calculate the net worth of Frida Kahlo, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Frida Kahlo
Net Worth: $5 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand
Annual Income: $2 Million
Source of Wealth: Artist

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Family, Education and Early Life

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico.

Wilhelm (also known as Guillermo) Kahlo’s father was a German photographer who immigrated to Mexico and met and married her mother Matilde. Matilde and Adriana were her two older sisters, and Cristina, her younger sister, was born the year after Kahlo.

Kahlo contracted polio when she was six years old, leaving her bedridden for nine months. She limped when she walked while recovering from the illness because the disease had damaged her right leg and foot. Her father encouraged her to play soccer, swim, and even wrestle — all of which were unusual for a girl at the time — to aid in her recovery.

Kahlo enrolled at the prestigious National Preparatory School in 1922. She was one of the school’s few female students, and she became known for her upbeat personality and love of colorful, traditional clothing and jewelry.

Kahlo hung out with a group of politically and intellectually similar students at school. Kahlo became more politically involved by joining the Young Communist League and the Mexican Communist Party.

Frida Kahlo’s Accident

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo and Alejandro Gómez Arias, a school friend with whom she had a romantic relationship, were riding on a bus when it collided with a streetcar. Kahlo was impaled by a steel handrail that went into her hip and came out the other side as a result of the collision. As a result, she suffered several serious injuries, including fractures in her spine and pelvis.

Kahlo returned home to recover after spending several weeks at the Red Cross Hospital in Mexico City. During her recovery, she began painting and finished her first self-portrait the following year, which she gave to Gómez Arias.

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Frida Kahlo’s Marriage to Diego Rivera

Kahlo married famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in 1929. Rivera and Kahlo first met in 1922, when he went to her high school to work on a project. Rivera was working on a mural in the school’s lecture hall called The Creation, which Kahlo frequently observed. According to some reports, she told a friend that she would have Rivera’s child someday.

In 1928, Kahlo reconnected with Rivera. He supported her artwork, and the two began dating. During their early years together, Kahlo frequently followed Rivera based on where Rivera received commissions. They lived in San Francisco, California, in 1930. They then traveled to New York for Rivera’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and then to Detroit for Rivera’s commission at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The time Kahlo and Rivera spent in New York City in 1933 was fraught with controversy. Rivera created a mural titled Man at the Crossroads in the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center after being commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller. The project was halted after Rivera included a portrait of communist leader Vladimir Lenin in the mural, which was later painted over. Months later, the couple returned to Mexico and settled in San Angel, Mexico.

Never married, Kahlo and Rivera maintained separate but adjoining homes and studios in San Angel. His numerous infidelities, including an affair with her sister Cristina, saddened her. In response to this betrayal by her family, Kahlo chopped off most of her trademark long dark hair. She was desperate to have a child and suffered another heartbreak when she miscarried in 1934.

Rivera and Kahlo had periods of separation, but they came together in 1937 to assist exiled Soviet communist Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia. In 1937, after receiving asylum in Mexico, the Trotskys came to stay with them at the Blue House (Kahlo’s childhood home). Trotsky, a former rival of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, feared being assassinated by his old adversary. During this time, Kahlo and Trotsky allegedly had a brief affair.

Rivera and Kahlo divorced in 1939. They were divorced for a short time before remarrying in 1940. The couple continued to live largely separate lives, with each becoming involved with other people over time.

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Artistic Career

While she never considered herself a surrealist, Kahlo befriended one of the movement’s pivotal figures, Andre Breton, in 1938. That same year, she had a major exhibition at a New York City gallery, where she sold roughly half of the 25 paintings on display. As a result of the show, Kahlo received two commissions, one from famed magazine editor Clare Boothe Luce.

Kahlo moved to Paris for a short time in 1939. She exhibited some of her paintings there and made friends with artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.

In 1941, Kahlo was commissioned by the Mexican government to paint five portraits of important Mexican women, but she was unable to complete the project. That year, she lost her beloved father and continued to suffer from chronic health issues. Despite her personal difficulties, her work grew in popularity and was included in a number of group shows around this time.

Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953. Despite being bedridden at the time, Kahlo attended the exhibition’s opening. Kahlo arrived by ambulance and spent the evening conversing and celebrating with the event’s attendees from the comfort of a four-poster bed set up in the gallery just for her.

Following Kahlo’s death, the feminist movement of the 1970s sparked renewed interest in her life and work, as Kahlo was regarded as an icon of female creativity by many.

Frida Kahlo’s Most Famous Paintings

Self-portraits dominated Kahlo’s work. Among her most well-known works are:

‘Frieda and Diego Rivera’ (1931)

This painting was shown at the Sixth Annual Exhibition of the San Francisco Society of Women Artists in San Francisco, where Kahlo was living with Rivera at the time. In the painting, which was completed two years after the couple married, Kahlo holds Rivera’s hand lightly while grasping a palette and paintbrushes with the other — a stiffly formal pose that foreshadows the couple’s future tumultuous relationship. The piece is now on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

‘Henry Ford Hospital’ (1932)

Kahlo began incorporating graphic and surrealistic elements into her work in 1932. In this painting, a naked Kahlo sits on a hospital bed with several objects floating around her and connected to her by red, veinlike strings, including a fetus, a snail, a flower, a pelvis, and others. The work, like her previous self-portraits, was deeply personal, telling the story of her second miscarriage.

‘The Suicide of Dorothy Hale’ (1939)

Luce and Kahlo’s mutual friend, actress Dorothy Hale, had committed suicide earlier that year by jumping from a high-rise building, and Kahlo was asked to paint a portrait of her. The painting was meant to be a gift for Hale’s bereaved mother. Instead of a traditional portrait, Kahlo painted the story of Hale’s tragic leap. While the work has been lauded by critics, the finished painting horrified the patron.

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‘The Two Fridas’ (1939)

The painting, one of Kahlo’s most famous works, depicts two versions of the artist sitting side by side, both of their hearts exposed. Frida is dressed almost entirely in white and has a damaged heart and blood spots on her clothing. The other is dressed in bright colors and has a healthy heart. These figures are thought to represent Kahlo’s “unloved” and “loved” sides.

‘The Broken Column’ (1944)

With this painting, Kahlo shared her physical challenges once more through her art, depicting a nearly naked Kahlo split down the middle, revealing her spine as a shattered decorative column. She also wears a surgical brace and has tacks or nails embedded in her skin. Kahlo had several surgeries and wore special corsets around this time to try to fix her back. She would continue to try various treatments for her chronic physical pain, but she would have little success.

Frida Kahlo’s Death

On July 13, 1954, about a week after her 47th birthday, Kahlo died at her beloved Blue House. There has been some speculation about the circumstances surrounding her death. It was reported that a pulmonary embolism caused it, but there have also been reports of a possible suicide.

In 1950, Kahlo’s health problems became nearly all-consuming. Kahlo spent nine months in the hospital after being diagnosed with gangrene in her right foot, during which time she underwent several operations. Despite her limited mobility, she continued to paint and support political causes. To stop the spread of gangrene, Kahlo’s right leg was amputated in 1953.

Deeply depressed, Kahlo was hospitalized again in April 1954, this time for poor health or, according to some reports, a suicide attempt. Two months later, she was admitted to the hospital with bronchial pneumonia. Kahlo’s physical condition did not prevent her from engaging in political activism. On July 2nd, she made her final public appearance, protesting the US-backed overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz.

Movie on Frida Kahlo

Frida, a 2002 film based on Kahlo’s life, starred Salma Hayek as the artist and Alfred Molina as Rivera. Julie Taymor directed the film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup and Original Score.

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Frida Kahlo Museum

The family home where Kahlo was born and raised, later known as the Blue House or Casa Azul, became a museum in 1958. The Museo Frida Kahlo, located in Coyoacán, Mexico City, houses artifacts from the artist as well as important works such as Viva la Vida (1954), Frida and Caesarean (1931), and Portrait of my Father Wilhelm Kahlo (1952).

Book on Frida Kahlo

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, written by Hayden Herrera in 1983, sparked interest in the artist. The biography covers Kahlo’s childhood, accident, artistic career, marriage to Diego Rivera, communist party affiliation, and love affairs.

Further Reading

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