Artworks
The Deceased Dimas

Contributor

If you think The Deceased Dimas by Frida Kahlo is freaky, just wait.

There is a custom in Mexican culture of dressing up dead people, especially dead kids because of their lack of accumulated sins, in the same garb of saints and holy virgins. You can tell this is what’s happening in this painting because of the colors and quality of the clothing that this little boy is wearing. He is dressed as St. Joseph. You can also tell this is a death portrait because his face has that droopy aspect of lifelessness. You would think that they would at least close his eyes… geez. On the pillow next to the boy’s head is a picture of Christ tied up to a column before his trial and crucifixion, probably indicating the boy’s innocence. He his holding a gladiola and is surrounded by marigolds, which is the flower of death. On the floor in front of him is a sign that indicates the boy’s name (Dimas Rosas) and his age (three years old).

This boy was the son of one of Frida’s favorite housekeepers and one of Diego Rivera’s favorite models, Delfina. Rivera is actually his godfather. Apparently Delfina refused to take her son to a hospital when he became ill. She decided instead to taking him to witch doctor. Things only got worse from there, and though Rivera insisted that the family go to a hospital, they refused and the child died of his ailments.

This piece was first exhibited at the Julien Levy Gallery, then in the Philadelphia Museum of Art before it made its final resting place at the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City. Apparently it’s a hot commodity despite the fact that it’s pretty horrifying to look at.

Sources

Sources

  1. "Information On Diego Rivera." Mcnaydocents.org. Web. 12 Oct. 2018. https://www.mcnaydocents.org/upload/151, RIVERA Delfina Flores.pdf
  2. "The Deceased Dimas, 1937 - By Frida Kahlo." Frida Kahlo. Web. 12 Oct. 2018. https://www.fridakahlo.org/the-deceased-dimas.jsp
  3. "The Deceased Dimas - Frida Kahlo - Google Arts & Culture." Google Cultural Institute. Web. 12 Oct. 2018. https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-deceased-dimas/8QFjFHlDpDc4ag