Frida’s experience of illness, injury, pain and suffering were often at the centre of her work. Her paintings offer a visual chronicle of this, as well as encompassing her family, marriage, relationships, dedication to communism and love for Mexican scenery, culture and costume. She saw scores of doctors over the years, but two of these had a significant presence in her paintings, as they did in her treatment. Her relationship with these men was of a piece with everything else she did, bringing together expertise with intimacy, and transcending the separation of art and life.
The most important of her medical attendants was Leo Eloesser. He was an renowned thoracic surgeon whom she first consulted in San Francisco in 1930. She came to trust his judgement so completely that she confided in him for the rest of her life, writing him long, affectionate letters asking for medical guidance and advice about her personal life. She addressed him as ‘Dearest Doctorcito’ and held back little or nothing from him.
This excerpt is an interesting article written by John Launer, published by BMJ, about the close and human relationship between the Mexican artist and the world of doctors and therapists. Entitled “Frida Kahlo and her doctors”, it is an extremely thorough contribution, we invite our readers to read, certainly enjoyable.