Latin America & Caribbean

'Lost' Frida Kahlo painting surfaces after six decades

Nina con collar by Frida Kahlo Image copyright AP
Image caption Nina con collar, or Girl with Necklace, will go to auction on 22 November

A painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo not seen in public for more than 60 years is going to auction next week in New York.

The 1929 work, Girl with Necklace, was given by Kahlo's husband to a woman who had assisted her before her death.

The assistant, now in her 90s, kept the painting in a bedroom in her home in California until she offered it to auction house Sotheby's this year.

It is expected to fetch up to $2m (£1.6m) at the sale on 22 November.

Frida Kahlo: Key facts

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Frida Kahlo and muralist Diego Rivera had a tempestuous relationship
  • Born in 1907 in Mexico City
  • Had polio as a child and, at 18, was in a bus crash that almost killed her
  • Took up painting during her long recuperation
  • Around a third of her paintings are self-portraits
  • Married Diego Rivera in 1929, divorced him only to marry him for a second time
  • Died in 1954

Axel Stein, head of Latin American art at Sotheby's, said the painting was in an excellent state.

"The painting looks very fresh," Mr Stein said. "It was in a dark part of the house so the colours are vibrant.

According to Mr Stein, the oil-on-canvas painting has "a sense of warmth and closeness".

It portrays a girl, possibly Frida Kahlo herself, looking directly ahead.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The painting will go on public view on 19 November before going to auction three days later

Art experts knew of the painting because a friend of Frida Kahlo's had once photographed it..

The black-and-white snap featured in a catalogue of Kahlo's works but the whereabouts of the original had been unknown.

Its owner told Sotheby's that Frida Kahlo's husband, Diego Rivera, had given her the painting as a present in 1955.

She said Rivera, a famous muralist, had told her he wanted her to have a "memento" of the artist.

A painting by Kahlo depicting two nude women in the woods fetched $8m at an auction in New York earlier this year, the highest price one of her paintings has fetched to date.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dos desnudos en el bosque (La Tierra Misma) went for $8m

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