Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns, 1940
In this painting, Frida paints herself in a frontal pose to enhance the immediacy of her presence. Hanging from the thorny necklace is a dead hummingbird. In Mexican folk tradition, dead hummingbirds were used as charms to bring luck in love. Over her left shoulder the black cat, a symbol of bad luck and death, waits to pounce on the hummingbird. Over her right shoulder the symbol of the devil, her pet monkey, a gift from Diego.