Frida Kahlo and the Xoloitzcuintles: painting and photography | Xolos Ramirez

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo stand out among the first people in the Mexican cultural scene who had xoloitzcuintles. There is a great variety of photographs where the painter and the muralist appear accompanied by one or two of these dogs. The authors are several, however, the one that excels, by the number of them, is Lola Álvarez Bravo. The photos that with her talented lens took Frida Kahlo have become true icons.


In relation to the pictorial works of the artist where she captured xoloitzcuintles dogs, we can mention: Escuintle and I (1938), Self-portrait with changuito (1945), The Embrace of Love of the Universe, Earth (Mexico), Yo, Diego and the Señor Xólotl (1949), Naturaleza Muerta (1951), Dance to the Sun (image contained in his diary Alas Rotas), as well as an undated work titled Xibalba-Alado-Xólotl-7 ríos (Dreamed by Frida Kahlo). The number of paintings will always be lower if we compare it with the photos that have been published in different media.


Among the images, trying to respect the chronological order, are:


An anonymous photo of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (s / f Col. Martha Zamora)  where the two painters sit on a staircase, accompanied by xoloitzcuintles dogs, one bald and one hairy.


Frida Kahlo and William Spratling in the Blue House (anonymous), contemporary of another one where William Spratling, Frida Kahlo and a xolo  also appear, undoubtedly taken the same day and in the same place. It is presumed that the American was the one who gave away some of his xoloitzcuintles to the couple of artists. In the same way, a picture taken by Frida a La Chaparra and that served as a postcard. All of them taken in August 1930.


Almost two years later, on June 30, 1932, the mother of the painter, Matilde Calderón, was photographed feeding the dogs of the Blue House. Photo that reflects part of the daily life in the house located in Coyoacán, Federal District. In it we see around Mrs. Matilde four bald dogs and one with hair, all with the ears porridge except one.


In the 1940s there are two series of photos taken by Lola Álvarez Bravo:

The first consists of four photographs that are attributed to the photographer, in two of them Frida, sitting on the floor, is accompanied by a xoloitzcuintle. They carry the generic title of Frida Kahlo in the patio of the Blue House of Coyoacán, they have a probable date between 1942-45 and belong to the file of Isolda P. Kahlo.


In the second series, Frida is dressed in a black dress that has a kind of white shirt. There are five images that have been cataloged with different dates but that apparently were taken in the year of 1944. Which are the following:


Frida with her hairless dog (1940-1949) in which the painter poses with a proud attitude, Frida looking at herself in a mirror in the courtyard of the Blue House (1942), Frida Kahlo and her dogs Itzcuintli (1944) who It is similar to the previous one but taken from another angle, Frida with one of her dogs xoloescuintle (1944) and the Portrait of Frida Kahlo with her dogs (s / f Col. Galería Juan Martín) where she appears with three dogs, of which two are xoloitzcuintles.


Also from 1944 is Frida Kahlo holding her dog by Sylvia Salmi. Which is the picture where Frida is sitting holding a xoloitzcuintle in her lap and looking towards an open window.


Also in 1951 we have three beautiful photos taken by Gisèle Freund in the garden of the Blue House of Coyoacán which are: Frida in the garden of the Blue House, Frida Kahlo and a xoloitzcuintle  and Frida Kahlo with her ducks and dogs.


Or the well-known Frida Kahlo  (1952) by Héctor García, where the painter appears in bed, hugging a xoloitzcuintle.


One of the last photos of the painter is one where Frida is already very decayed, lying on a bed, at whose feet is a xoloitzcuintle which has been named Frida Kahlo in bed with his dog Aztec - hairless - favorite, Lord Xolotl. Photo in which, at the head of the bed, another image appears. In it we find Diego Rivera holding in his hands a young puppy before the loving look of Frida with a headdress of flowers.


Also from 1952 is the photograph of Frida Kahlo with the servants of her house that was published in the magazine Animales de Compañía, in which the painter appears with a group of people who, more than servants, look like sellers who agreed to pose with she.


There is one more photo that could not be determined date: Juan O'Gorman accompanied by Frida Kahlo and a dog xoloitzcuintle. She sits on the floor and he crouches, caress and touch the small dog.


There may be more photographs of the painter with xoloitzuintles dogs, but this is only a first look at her iconography.

Criadero de perros mexicanos Xoloitzcuintles en México "Xolos Ramirez"

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