It was in the final decade of her life that Frida Kahlo kept a diary—ten turbulent years marked by emotional distress, declining health, and unwavering artistic spirit. Kahlo endured multiple surgeries and spent long periods in hospital during this period, and in 1953, already confined to a wheelchair, her right leg was amputated. Despite these challenges, she continued to paint, showcasing her resilience and dedication to her craft. Through prose, poetry, sketches and letters, the diary’s brightly coloured pages reveal her thoughts on Mexican culture, her commitment to Communism, her complex relationship with Diego Rivera, and her ongoing health struggles. At turns profound, tragic, loving, and witty, an unfiltered window into the soul of an iconic artist who triumphed over adversity.
The Diary Entry
Yesterday, the seventh of May 1953 as I fell on the flagstones I got a needle stuck in my ass (dog’s ass). They brought me immediately to the hospital in an ambulance – Suffering awful pains and screaming all the way from home to the British Hospital – they took an X ray – several and located the needle and they are going to take it out one of these days with a magnet. Thanks to my Diego the love of my life thanks to the Doctors
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait was first published in 1995 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York in association with La Vaca Independiente S.A. de C.V., México. The first couple of hundred pages are Kahlo’s original, handwritten and illustrated in facsimile; to the rear of the book can be found a translated transcript. (In my opinion it would have made more sense to have these transcripts facing each original page, but still, it’s a special book.) Some pages can be seen on the Google Arts & Culture website, here.
Diary entry reprinted by kind permission of Banco de México, as a trustee for the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums.