Two self portraits Essay

Submitted By elliehsu
Words: 575
Pages: 3

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird is a 61.25 x 47cm, oil on canvas painting drawn in 1940 by a Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo de Rivera. She was born on July 6, 1907, in her home known as the Blue House. The pain she received after the bus accident on September 17, 1925 often let her confined to hospital bed for months at a time. She married the painter Diego Rivera in 1929 and divorced 10 years later. Self Portrait in the Studio is a 200.5 x 259cm, oil, collage and hair on canvas painting drawn by Sydney-born Brett Whitley who was born in 1939 and died in 1992. He has travelled widely in his life. His last studio, in Lavender Bay, is now a museum managed by the Art Gallery of NSW.

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird uses symmetrical balance with the artist and the hummingbird in the centre of the painting’s foreground, the spider monkey above her right shoulder, the black cat above her left shoulder, the dragonfly-like creatures, the butterflies on her hair, her eyebrow, and the figure eight-like hair all dividing the painting into two symmetrical halves. In contrast, Self Portrait in the Studio is not symmetrical. In the foreground of the painting is the tiny mirror reflecting the artist’s face and a woman’s figure lying on the bed. There are windows, plants, red carpet, grey chair and ultramarine blue walls in the background. The major colour in this portrait is cool colour, ultramarine, while another one used a lot of warm colour such as the artist’s cheek, lips, and the leaves. There are many rectangles in Brett Whiteley’s portrait such as the windows, the painting on the wall, and the carpet. In contrast, Frida Kahlo’s portrait seems smoother as the rounded arched shape is repeated throughout the article. For example, her eyebrows, mustache, the wings of the hummingbird.

Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird contains a lot of elements that symbolize Mexican cultural and her life experiences and expectations. The thorn necklace, blood, and the dead hummingbird symbolize the psychological pain from the divorce as a dead hummingbird, which was used as charms to bring luck in love in Mexican folk tradition, is connected to the…