The Broken Column

The Broken Column
Artist Frida Kahlo
Year 1944
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico
Dimensions 17 x 13 in
43 x 33 cm
Famous Paintings by Frida Kahlo
The Suicide of Dorothy Hale, 1938
Roots, 1943
The Two Fridas, 1939
The Bus, 1929
Moses, 1945
The Wounded Deer, 1946
The Broken Column, 1944
Without Hope, 1945
Complete Works

The Broken Column is a self-portrait executed in 1944 painted in a surrealist style by the artist Frida Kahlo, who was born in Mexico in 1906. It is in private ownership. It is a small work that measures 16.9 inches by 13 inches, and is an oil painting on canvas.


Kahlo’s best-known works are possibly her self-portraits, which are very striking and portray a stark realism. The Broken Column is just one of her paintings that was inspired by a horrific accident the artist was involved in when she was eighteen.

Kahlo was traveling on a bus that collided with a tram. A metal railing on the bus was driven upwards through the artist’s leg and abdomen, causing multiple fractures.


The artist is standing in a surreal landscape. She is almost naked. Tears fall from her eyes. A broken, tapering, stone column divides the body from the lower abdomen to the chin. A number of nails pierce the visible parts of her body.

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