What is it about women and their facial expressions that inspire such iconic portraiture? Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile is a riddle so intriguing it has become an obsession among art historians—and the subject of numerous crappy movies. Then there’s Frida Kahlo’s impressive stare (complemented by her freewheeling eyebrows), which is explored in a recent article in the Smart Set. The uncompromising severity of “The Look,” present in all of Kahlo’s self-portraits, becomes all the more curious when compared to the photographs of the painter, which, writes Morgan Meis, show her in “much softer, or more playful, or openly seductive” poses.
Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird , Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust.