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Frida Kahlo's 'Diego y yo' painting sells for a record-setting $34.9 million

Kahlo's self-portrait set a record for the highest price paid for a painting by a Latin American artist. The painting was sold at an auction on Tuesday night.

NEW YORK — Frida Kahlo's 1949 final self-portrait sold at an auction for $34.9 million at the Sotheby's Modern Evening Sale in New York Tuesday night. 

According to a report from NBC, Eduardo F. Costantini purchased the painting. Costantini is the founder of Malba, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

“Tonight’s outstanding result further secures her place in the auction echelon she belongs, as one of the true titans of 20th century art,” Julian Dawes, Sotheby’s co-head of Impressionist and modern art in New York in a statement.  

Kahlo's self-portrait set a record for the highest price paid for a painting by a Latin American artist.

The painting had previously been sold for $1.4 million at a Sotheby's New York auction in 1990. That sale made Kahlo the first ever Latin American artist to reach a price above one million dollars, according to Kahlo.org. 

Credit: AP
Visitors inspect Frida Kahlo's "Diego y yo" on display at Sotheby's auction house during a press preview for the upcoming Modern Evening auction, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Kahlo's final self-portrait shows her gazing tearfully with muralist Diego Rivera sitting at the center of her forehead resembling a third eye. Rivera was a self-confessed womaniser and according to Kahlo.org, the depiction of Rivera in the Diego y yo painting, is an indication that "although he may be the cause of her pain he is always prominent in her mind's eye and her obsession for him is made clear." 

The couple shared a complicated relationship. They married first in 1929 and due to infidelity on both sides the couple divorced in 1939 only to remarry 11 years later. 

Kahlo remained married to Rivera until her death in July 1954. 

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