German-born French photographer Gisle Freund (1908-2000) offers a rare look at Frida Kahlo in intimate snapshots taken of the celebrated artist during some of the last years of her life. Freund, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and later became known as one of the greatest portraits photographers in history, met the legendary couple Kahlo and Diego Rivera when she embarked on a two-week trip to Mexico in 1950. A fortnight gradually turned into two years that Freund spent living in the home of Kahlo and Rivera. During that time, Freund captured hundreds of photos documenting the couple’s private lives as well as the rich culture of Mexico.
The powerful photos, many of which have never been published before the release of the book Frida Kahlo: The Gisle Freund Photographs in March, honor the beauty and talent of Kahlo. Although she became very ill in the years before her death, the renowned painter was still filled with vibrant passion and energy. As Freund’s poignant images show, Kahlo loved to spend time painting and wandering through her garden with her pet dogs, even when she became weaker and later confined to a wheelchair. A charismatic and unforgettable figure to the very end, Kahlo will forever be remembered for her grace and artistic gifts.