Frida Kahlo

Home / Education / ARChives / Discussions

Frida Kahlo


Published on before 2005

Piet Spijkers wrote:
Frida Kahlo's greatness as a painter is found in her personal history and the way she gave form - by her unique and impressive art - to her struggle to overcome her condition. Her art shows personality and strength. Like we discussed before here, greatness does not respond to criteria equally applicable to all artists. Great artists seem to specialize in given and unexpected areas of greatness.


Frida Kahlo could not paint worth squat. She was a primitive. A primitive is someone who knows next to nothing about painting, but tries anyway. She was an accessory to Diego Rivera, another primitive more highly rated than his talent warranted. The concept of greatness is demeaned when unworthy people are called great. It cheats those who were truly great of their rightful distinction. Rembrandt was a great painter. Vermeer was a great painter. Frans Hals, Diego Velazquez, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Antony Van Dyke, Jacob Jordaens, Gerrit von Honthorst, Tiziano Vecellio, Giorgione Castelfranco, Georges De La Tour, Joseph Wright of Derby, Hans Holbein, Claude Lorraine, Thomas Cole, Frederick Church, to name just a few, were great painters. Do you really think Frida Kahlo belongs in the same ranking as these truly great artists? I would have serious questions about anyone's judgment who thought Kahlo compared favorably with any of these artists on the worst day of their lives.

Virgil Elliott