The undeniable love that Frida Kahlo had for her husband Diego Rivera transcends time. Her admiration, lust, infatuation, adoration, and pain for Rivera is seen throughout her work, in her writing, and in the many images of the two. Now decades since her death, we can now hear her love for Rivera as well. For the first time, the voice of Kahlo can finally be heard.
In 1949, Kahlo wrote an essay about her husband, titled Portrait of Diego. She wrote it as a way to commemorate an exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts, celebrating 50 years of Rivera’s work, The Guardian reports. Frida read the essay, and it was recorded for the “pilot episode of the 1955 radio show El Bachiller.” That means it aired a year after her death.
The recording was discovered through a private collection, and researchers are still trying to find out if the voice on that recording is indeed Kahlo. So far, all sides point to yes. One indication to go by is a description that French photographer Giséle Freund wrote about years ago. He said Kahlo’s voice was “melodious and warm.” The voice on the recording is truly that. She sounds like an angel.
In the recording, Kahlo says about her dear husband: “He is a gigantic, immense child, with a friendly face and a sad gaze. His high, dark, extremely intelligent, and big eyes rarely hold still. They almost come out of their sockets because of their swollen and protuberant eyelids — like a toad’s. They allow his gaze to take in a much wider visual field as if they were built, especially for a painter of large spaces and crowds.” The entire recording is magical. She describes Rivera as she always has, as her baby that she loves to hold.
“Frida’s voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search,” Pavel Granados, head of the national audio archives, said according to Yahoo News. “Until now, there had never been a recording of Frida Kahlo,” he added.
Researchers continue to comb through the rest of the archives to see if perhaps there are more recordings of our beloved artist, and we don’t doubt that there is more. Regardless if they find another recording, we now have proof that our imagination of Kahlo’s voice is correct, she has the nurturing voice that we felt she would have embodied. She sounds kind and welcoming, and we want to hear this audio again and again.
Take a listen below.