Frida Kahlo met José Bartoli in New York while she was recuperating from spinal surgery stemming from a bus accident in her youth. Their love affair continued after Kahlo returned to Mexico to her beloved Casa Azul and her husband Diego. The clandestine correspondence lasted for three years, aided by friends and Kahlo’s sister, Cristina, who had introduced the pair.
In a letter from October 1946, Frida writes, “My Bartoli…I don’t know how to write love letters. But I wanted to tell you that my whole being opened for you. Since I fell in love with you everything is transformed and is full of beauty…love is like an aroma, like a current, like rain. You know, my sky, you rain on me and I, like the earth, receive you.”