At the age of 18 Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954) sustained horrific injuries when she was involved in a bus collision in Mexico City. She was impaled by a steel handrail that skewered her abdomen and caused many other injuries. A fellow passenger had been carrying a pot of powdered gold that had exploded during the crash and covered her body so that as she lay in the aftermath in in a mixture of blood and gold.
“Something weird happened, Frida was completely naked. The crash took off her clothes. Someone from the bus, maybe a painter, was carrying a package of gold powder that got broken and covered the bloody body of Frida. As soon as people saw her, they yelled: ‘The dancer! The dancer!’ Because of the gold in her bloody body, they thought she was a dancer.” - Alejandro Gómez Arias
She told her mother after the accident “I have not died and, moreover, I have something to live for; that something is painting.”
Because of her weak spine she wore a plaster corsets for most of her life. She wore over 28 supportive corsets which she often decorated with elaborate paintings.