A 1929 portrait by renowned Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, worth an estimated $2 million, is due to be auctioned this month in New York after being rediscovered this past summer. The portrait, titled Niña con collar or Girl with necklace, is set to be one of the featured works on sale at Sotheby’s Latin American: Modern Art sale on November 22. Previously, the only known evidence for the existence of the painting — which depicts an unsmiling, wide-eyed girl of approximately 14 years of age — had been a black and white photograph. It turned out that Kahlo’s husband, artist Diego Rivera, had gifted the portrait to Kahlo’s assistant after Kahlo’s death in 1954.
The painting was “beautifully preserved” by its owner, who kept it in a darkened bedroom in Sunnyvale, California for six decades, according to Axel Stein, Sotheby’s head of Latin American Art. “Sun is the worst enemy of paintings,” said Stein, adding that the painting appeared as though it could have been “made yesterday.”
The model in the painting, Stein noted, appears to represent a young version of the artist, as she seems to wear Kahlo’s jade necklace and possibly her earrings as well. Kahlo is famous for her self-portraits, as well as for her uncompromising depiction of the female experience.
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