Skip Navigation

Covered Container

Decorative Arts and Design

Kahlo kept gourd containers similar to this one on her dining room table and on various shelves at the Blue House. Characteristic of the lacquerware produced by artisans in the village of Olinalá, in Guerrero, it is carved in the rayado (incised) technique, which begins with the application of two coats of lacquer in contrasting colors. The designs are drawn with a pointed instrument, and the background is then cut away. The elaborate decoration includes not only local flora and fauna, but male and female figures flanking the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui. One of the women may be Malinche, the conquistador Hernán Cortés’s Nahuatl interpreter.

Kahlo tenía contenedores de guaje similares a este en la mesa de su comedor y en varias estanterías de la Casa Azul. Es un producto laqueado típico de los artesanos del pueblo de Olinalá, en Guerrero, tallado con la técnica del rayado, que comienza por la aplicación de dos capas de laca en colores contrastantes. Los diseños son dibujados con un instrumento puntiagudo y luego se talla el fondo. Su decoración elaborada no solo incluye la flora y la fauna local, sino también figuras masculinas y femeninas que flanquean a la diosa azteca Coyolxauhqui. Una de las mujeres podría ser Malinche, intérprete Nahuatl del conquistador Hernán Cortés.
MEDIUM Gourd, lacquer
DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 14 1/2 x 17 in. (36.8 x 43.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Covered Container, early 20th century. Gourd, lacquer, 14 1/2 x 17 in. (36.8 x 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 41.516a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.516.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 41.516.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
 <em>Covered Container</em>, early 20th century. Gourd, lacquer, 14 1/2 x 17 in.  (36.8 x 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund, 41.516a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.516.jpg)