Visiting the house of the most popular Mexican painter can be quite an experience, so here are have some tips to enjoy the tour.
If I ask you the name of one female painter in history, which one will come to mind? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said Frida Kahlo. Her painful life, the myths around her, and her art have made her one of the most popular and iconic characters in art history. Located in Coyoacan, a colonial neighborhood in Mexico City, her legendary house was turned into a museum (the Frida Kahlo Museum), and it’s one of the most visited museums in the country, with long queues to get in everyday, even before the doors are opened.
So, if you are planning to travel to Mexico City and visit the famous Casa Azul (Blue House), this is what you need to know before immersing yourself into her colorful universe.
Buy your tickets online
You can get tickets online to avoid the queues. Tickets are sold for time slots, so you can choose what day and time you want to visit the museum. This is because the museum is not as big as you would imagine (it was Frida’s home so it wasn’t originally conceived as a museum) so it has a specific amount of people that can get in without being too crowded.
Although here there’s not a big collection of Frida’s paintings, you’ll find some masterpieces such as “Portrait Of My Father Wilhelm Kahlo”, in which the painter portrayed her father, and “Viva La Vida”, the iconic painting featuring watermelons, a very Mexican fruit, full of color and flavor, that Frida related to happiness in life and that has inspired artists all around the world.
Fun fact about “Viva La Vida”: It was the last one Frida painted in life. Curiously, Diego Rivera’s last painting also featured watermelons.
The vestiges of her life
This is not a regular museum; this is a house-museum. Frida was born, lived and died here, so you’ll find lots of personal items that reflect how life was in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century. The kitchen is very Mexican, decorated with small pottery hanging on the walls and spelling the names of Frida and Diego. The dining room is full of folk art, reflecting the couple’s relationship with Mexican indigenous artisans and their love of Mexican culture. Upstairs, you’ll find Frida’s studio, with her wheelchair, oils, and easel, and also her two bedrooms full of those things that one day made her so happy.
Frida’s father, the German photographer Guillermo Kahlo, began to build this house in 1904 (Frida was born there in 1907). The original architecture of the house echoes the architectural trends of the early twentieth century in Mexico, with a patio surrounded by the buildings that held the rooms. All of the exterior walls are painted in a bright shade of blue, one of Frida’s favorite colors. There’s an imitation of a pyramid in the patio, where Diego placed some of the thousands of pre hispanic figures he collected. The upstairs part of the house was designed by architect Juan O’Gorman in the 1940s, in a very modern way, and using volcanic stone. It’s really interesting to see the contrast between these two architectural styles.
In Frida’s time, Coyoacan was a neighborhood in the outskirts of Mexico City. The city was considered to be held only in downtown and a few surrounding areas, but as years passed by the city grew on its sides and Coyoacan became part of it. This picturesque neighborhood keeps its essence, with large colonial houses, a colorful market with traditional food and crafts, and parks to sit and enjoy some quality coffee, churros, ice creams, and other street food. It’s a must-visit, walking around and enjoying the city.
If you visit Mexico City, this is one of the unmissable spots. So book your tickets ahead and enjoy your tour!
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