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General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 22 Jul 2017/1 Jaguar
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Aztec teponaztli in Paris

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Professor Davíd Carrasco

Was it true that the Aztecs believed that by wearing masks they took on extra powers? asked Loseley Fields Primary School. Read what Professor Davíd Carrasco had to say.

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Article suitable for older students

‘The Blue House’ of Frida and Diego

Frida Kahlo

The famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was, like her husband the muralist Diego Rivera, strongly influenced by the strength and richness of Mexico’s pre-Columbian cultures (this is clearly visible in several of the paintings on display in recent exhibitions in London of Frida’s work). (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Copy of Aztec temple in the patio
Copy of Aztec temple in the patio (Click on image to enlarge)

In fact, Frida and Diego went so far as to build a model of an Aztec temple in the middle of the courtyard of their beautiful home (“The Blue House” in Coyoacán, Mexico City - now a museum). We took these pictures in 1983 (please let us know how much the place has changed!)

If you want to browse many of Frida’s ‘classics’ online, the most accessible website we’ve come across to date is a Greek one (!) - esoterica.com (link below). Takes a while to load the page as there are so many - large - images on it, but it’s worth it.

‘El abrazo amoroso...’ by Frida Kahlo
‘El abrazo amoroso...’ by Frida Kahlo (Click on image to enlarge)

Look for the powerful influence of pre-Hispanic roots in paintings such as... The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth [Mexico], Me, and Señor Xolotl [the dog], 1949

‘Moisés...’ by Frida Kahlo
‘Moisés...’ by Frida Kahlo (Click on image to enlarge)

... the image of Coatlicue (earth goddess) in Moses, 1945

‘Niña Tehuacana...’ by Frida Kahlo
‘Niña Tehuacana...’ by Frida Kahlo (Click on image to enlarge)

... the pyramids of the sun and moon (complete with rabbit) from Teotihuacán in Portrait of Lucha Maria, 1942

‘Naturaleza muerta’ by Frida Kahlo
‘Naturaleza muerta’ by Frida Kahlo (Click on image to enlarge)

... the ceramic ‘itzcuintli’ (Aztec dog) figure at the centre of her 1951 Still Life

1938 ‘Autorretrato con mono’ by Frida Kahlo - detail
1938 ‘Autorretrato con mono’ by Frida Kahlo - detail

... her treatment of the alter ego - so visible in the ubiquitous spider-monkey in her paintings, as well as in the humming-bird and deer figures - in much the same way as the pre-Hispanic ‘nahual’ companion figure (see our Aztefacts section).

Picture sources:-
• Top two photos by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore

Aztefacts - the ‘nahual’ or other self

Tate Modern

National Portrait Gallery

esoterica.gr

Website of the Gehrke-Remund Art Museum in Baden-Baden

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Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: Many thanks for this valuable information, Mariella. We would be delighted to include more details about this intriguing painting and of your museum...
Mexicolore replies: Basically, this is a recommendation to visit/view the “Pain and Passion” permanent exhibition on Frida Kahlo in Baden Baden, Germany, where they have over 100 replicas of her paintings on display. Click on http://www.kunstmuseum-gehrke-remund.de/