More about Self Portrait with Stalin

  • All
  • Info
  • Shop


Frida proclaims her love in this self portrait with Stalin just before she dies.

Stalin stands for 'man of steel.' Not surprisingly, he picked the name himself.


Stalin was a runt who got bullied in school, and then made up for it by becoming undisputed dictator of the Soviet Union and running the place with ruthless brutality for about three decades. His government sent millions to their death, into exile, or labor camps. Millions more dead from starvation. Most historians agree that with approximately 20 million victims, Stalin ranks as the second biggest mass murderer in history, behind Mao Tse Tung (40 million) and before Adolf Hitler (9 million).


Kahlo was a life long and fervent member of the communist party. She was married to the very jealous and possessive Diego Rivera, but had an affair with another Russian leader of the communist revolution, Trotsky. Stalin took a dislike to Trotsky and had an assassin kill him with an ice axe to the head.


Trotsky lived with Kahlo and had only recently moved to a nearby house of his own. The assassination happened virtually in Kahlo's living room. Kahlo and Diego fled to the United States.


Twenty years later, Kahlo seems to have forgotten about that incident and immortalizes Stalin in this self portrait. This was her last painting before she died. She had undergone excruciatingly painful operations in the past several years. The lack of detail in this final artwork is due to the powerful painkillers she was taking at that time.