Artists Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Visit Leon Trotsky in Mexico: Vintage Footage from 1938




Here’s some very rare footage of the great Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo paying a visit to exiled Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife, Natalia Sedova, in Coyocoán, Mexico, in 1938.

The Trotskys had arrived the year before, after Rivera petitioned the government of President Lázaro Cárdenas to grant the controversial Marxist leader and theorist sanctuary in Mexico. When the Trotskys arrived on a Norwegian oil tanker at the port city of Tampico in January of 1937, Rivera was not well, but Kahlo boarded the ship to welcome the Trotskys and accompanied them on an armored train to Mexico City. She invited the Trotskys to stay at her family home, La Casa Azul (the Blue House) in Coyocoán, now a section of Mexico City. By the time this footage was taken by a visiting American named Ivan Heisler, Trotsky and Kahlo had either had, or were about to have, a brief affair, and the friendship between the two couples would soon fall apart. In early 1939 Trotsky moved to another house in the same neighborhood, where he was assassinated in August of 1940.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in July, 2012.

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Related Content:

Watch Moving Short Films of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at the “Blue House”

The Frida Kahlo Action Figure

Frida Kahlo Writes a Personal Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe After O’Keeffe’s Nervous Breakdown (1933)

1933 Article on Frida Kahlo: “Wife of the Master Mural Painter Gleefully Dabbles in Works of Art”

Attempting to Set the World Record for Most Frida Kahlo Lookalikes in One Place: It Happened in Dallas


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