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Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird

            Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter in the first half of the 20th century, expresses her feelings through the art of painting. One such painting, "Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird," is a depiction of Kahlo's life at one point in time. It shows the artist wearing a thorn necklace with a hummingbird hanging from the necklace; the painting also has a black cat behind the artist's left shoulder and a black baby monkey behind the artist's right shoulder. In the background, there are many dark colored leaves to cover the whole area in the back with one yellow leaf behind Kahlo's head. The painter portrays these objects as a symbolic meaning to an emotion or event in her life. Kahlo reveals many aspects and emotions of herself but according to the self-portrait, suffering seems to be the most dominant theme with a little ounce of hope left inside of her.
             Suffering and pain may be shown through facial expressions or through the objects in the painting. As stated in the title of the self-portrait, the thorn necklace is wrapped around her neck, puncturing little holes in her neck. This is a symbol of pain and suffering just as Christ was in pain wearing the thorn crown. As the blood is dripping down from her punctured wounds on her neck, Kahlo's facial expression is so discreet that it does not seem like she is in pain; as if the artist wanted to appear strong and unbreakable while keeping all the pain and suffering inside. The artist may be suffering on the inside, but she likes to have a little bit of hope on the outside as well.
             Hope is fragile and delicate which allows a person to stay alive. Kahlo's white dress stands out from the rest of the morbid colors in the background which represents a sign of hope. The white dress gives a sense of purity and innocence which are another form of hope. Also, the yellow colored leaf behind her head is very symbolic. In the Renaissance era, a yellow halo would appear behind a person's head to represent that person as a saint.

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