Twenty five love letters written by Frida Kahlo between August of 1946 and November of 1949 are headed to auction on April 15 at Doyle New York.
The collection includes over 100 pages of correspondence and were originally saved by Jose Bartoli, a Catalan artist and political refugee who moved to New York to escape the Spanish Civil War. He and Kahlo met while she was recovering from spinal surgery.
When Kahlo returned to Mexico, she and Bartoli began a secret, long-distance romance, exchanging letters over three years. Bartoli preserved the letters until his death in 1995, after which they were passed down to his family.
In a letter written on August 29, 1946, Frida shares, ”Bartoli – last night I felt as if many wings caressed me all over, as if your finger tips had mouths that kissed my skin.” In another she says, ”Do not deny me other desires that form the whole of what I feel for you and that can only be called love.” Kahlo also sent Bartoli thoughts about her paintings, health and relationship with Diego Rivera.
Rare Books Department Director Peter Costanzo, in a statement to HuffPost, noted:
The Frida Kahlo archive is remarkably important. Her letters to José Bartoli are entirely fresh and unpublished. They provide new information about one of the most important artists of the 20th century. It is an honor and a privilege to present this precious archive to the public. Its contents will surely further scholarship on Frida Kahlo and her works.
The letters are expected to sell for up to $120,000.