This is the self-portrait in which Frida includes her pet monkeys. This painting was produced during her most prolific period, the early 1940s, in which she created several self-portraits. The background is one of tropical plants which is a common background theme used in many of her paintings.
In this self-portrait Frida may be portraying herself in an academic setting. In the year this self-portrait was painted, Frida accepted a teaching position at the School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City. Soon after, Frida's health took a turn for the worse and classes had to be held in her home in Coyoacán. Eventually the class dwindled to only four loyal students who called themselves “Los Fridos“. Here, Frida may be portraying herself as the teacher surrounded by her four remaining students (the four monkeys).