Frida Kahlo love letters realise 14% increase on estimate

An archive of letters from artist Frida Kahlo to a lover has sold for $137,000 at Doyle New York.

The lot realised an increase of 14.1% on a $120,000 estimate when it crossed the block in the April 15 auction.

Frida Kahlo letters
Frida Kahlo began writing the letters while recovering from a spinal operation

The auction house explained in the run-up to the sale: "This group of twenty-five letters that the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo wrote to a Spanish refugee named Jose Bartoli between August 1946, when she had just turned thirty-nine, and November 1949, show that she knew how to write love letters that flow with poetry and passion.

"Kahlo's letters are steamy with unbridled sensuality and they are, like Kahlo's paintings, extraordinarily direct and personal."

The first letters were written while Kahlo was bedbound in Mexico City, while recovering from a spinal fusion. She was in an enormous amount of pain, something that is tangible in her writing.

She writes: "My Bartoli…I don't know how to write love letters. But I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty….

"Love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain. You know, my sky, you rain on me and I, like the earth, receive you. Mara".

Kahlo was one of the most important artists of the 20th century and remains a hugely iconic figure.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about autograph auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock