Kahlo painted The Two Fridas in 1939, the same year she divorced artist Diego Rivera. Some art historians have suggested that the two figures in the painting are a representation of Frida's dual heritage. Her father was German; while her mother, was Mexican. Another interpretation is that the Tehuana Frida is the one who was adored by her husband Diego Rivera, while the European Frida is the one that was rejected by him. In Frida's own recollection, the image is of a memory of a childhood imaginary friend.
Both Fridas hold items in their lap; the Mexican Frida holds a small portrait of Diego Rivera, and the European Frida holds forceps. Blood spills onto the European Frida's white dress from a broken blood vessel that has been cut by the forceps. The blood vessel connects the two Fridas, winding its way from their hands through their hearts. The work alludes to Kahlo's life of constant pain and surgical procedures and the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice. Because this piece was completed by Kahlo shortly after her divorce, the European Frida is missing a piece of herself, her Diego.
Both Fridas show an open heart. The heart in the left figure is healthy whereas the heart of the figure on the right is open and cut. An interpretation of this is that it not only shows two separate personalities but indicates the constant pain that Frida is going through. The tragic motor accident that left her bedridden and then with medical problems throughout her life is shown through the two figures; one is weak whilst the other is strong. Although the two figures appear separate, a vein connecting the two further symbolizes that despite the differences in the two figures they both make up one Frida; together they make the self-portrait.