Diego Rivera Kept A Bathroom In His House With Frida Kahlo Locked Up For Years After His Death To Hide Her Letters To Lovers
The nature of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s tumultuous relationship is almost as popular as their work as artists. In the decades that have followed their deaths, the pair’s marriage has been analyzed in academia, studied in the pages of literary journals, and portrayed on screen. Popular descriptions of Rivera and Kahlo’s relationship paint one riddled with infidelities and jealousy. One popular account of Rivera’s various extramarital trysts describes him of having once requested a note from his doctor that insisted he was physically incapable of being faithful, others about Kahlo have detailed her affairs with artists and political figures across the globe.
While the circumstances of their marriage have long been put on displayed and scrutinized, keys to a locked away bathroom in the couple’s former home are unlatching a new set of stories.
For almost fifty years, a collection of thousands of items connected to the couple’s intimate lives have been locked up in a bathroom.aizirtap1974 / Instagram
In 1957, three years after Kahlo’s death and only a month before his own, Diego entrusted a friend, Dolores Olmedo, to ensure the safekeeping of a bathroom in the home he shared with Kahlo called the Blue House.
The house, which is located in Mexico City, was turned into a museum dedicated to Kahlo’s life and work.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
Diego requested that Olmedo wait fifteen years until after his death before unlocking the bathroom which museum curators are now discovering contained thousands of the couple’s intimate possessions.
Their discoveries include items that belonged to Kahlo including her medications, clothes, makeup, photos, even letters exchanged with lovers.toadstool_house / Twitter
The letters include notes from Nickolas Muray, a photographer for Vogue and the New York Times, Soviet politician Leon Trotsky, and sculptor named Isamu Noguchi.
According to Broadly, many of the letters include red lipstick kisses.ReadingInHeels / Twitter
They were pressed to messages and were made by Kahlo herself.
Kahlo’s newly discovered possessions will be on display in London this summer.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
Hilda Trujillo Soto is director of the Frida Kahlo Museum and says that the items found in the bathroom are a testament to how fully she lived her life despite suffering with much physical pain and anguish.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
“Kahlo never let her disabilities and personal circumstances define her,” Soto told Broadly in an interview, “she defined who she was in her own terms.”
The bathroom’s contents will be in London this summer on exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum.neongreece / Twitter
Definitely go see it!
Still, there’s more to know about Kahlo and Diego’s relationship.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
So much for you to learn!
Rivera cheated on Kahlo with her younger sister Cristina.“Frida 2.” Digital Image. Bustle. 6 July 2018.
It almost ruined her relationship.
Kahlo was bisexual and slept with men and women.GiuseppeTurrisi / Twitter
Including French dancer/singer/actress Josephine Baker and Leon Trotsky. Although Rivera was okay with Kahlo’s affairs with other women, he was jealous of the men she slept with.
Rivera was actually fine with Kahlo’s affairs with other women.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
But he was jealous of the men she slept with.
She is rumored to have had affairs withfridakahlolovers
Josephine Baker and Leon Trotsky.
Although Rivera was okay with Kahlo’s affairs with other women, he was jealous of the men she slept with.
When they met, he was 20 years her senior.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
Diego was already a star in the world of Mexican art. Kahlo was a student.
Rivera encouraged Kahlo to develop her artistry.artfridakahlo / Twitter
He is also given credit for encouraging her to see herself as a work of art.
In 1929, after they married, she began dressing in indigenous attire.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
It was part of her outlook on herself.
They both embraced Mexicanidad.toadstool_house / Twitter
Their re-appreciation of Mexico and its traditions helped artists embrace the cultures that so many had overlooked.
Both artists had affairs.SalvadorSalort / Twitter
According to one biographer, Kahlo stated, “I do not think the banks of a river suffer by letting the water run.”
Rivera once asked his doctor for a note that would excuse his affairs.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
Diego had a hard time keeping it in his pants and wanted the doctor to say it was impossible for him to do so.
Kahlo paintings portray that she was deeply hurt by Rivera’s affairs.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
Another theme was her lifelong physical pain which she documented often in her paintings.
Kahlo and Rivera divorced in 1940.HarvardLibrary / Twitter
But they quickly remarried. After Kahlo’s death in 1954, Rivera mourned for a year, and then, true to form, remarried once again.
After Kahlo’s death in 1954, Rivera mourned for a year and then remarried.lupitovi / Pinterest
Still, when he died, he had their ashes mixed together.
But Kahlo’s ashes are in the house she grew up in.Untitled. Digital Image. Lisa Wall Rogers. 6 July 2018.
Diego’s are in the Rotunda of Distinguished Men in Mexico City.
They first met when she played a prank on him.fridakahlolovers / Instagram
While painting, I suddenly heard, from behind one of the colonial pillars in the spacious room, the voice of an unseen girl.
Teasingly, she shouted, “On guard, Diego, Nahui is coming!”
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