A lawyer for Ms. Romeo added that Mattel did not have the rights to use Kahlo’s image, according to the news agency.
Mattel said in a statement that it had “secured permission and worked in close partnership with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the owner of all rights related to Frida Kahlo, to make this doll.”
Beatriz Alvarado, a spokeswoman for the Frida Kahlo Corporation, said by telephone on Friday that the company had been formed by people who secured rights to market Kahlo’s name and likeness after paying a fee in 2005 to Isolda Pineda Kahlo, one of the artist’s nieces.
Kahlo, whose works are owned by institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and whose legacy has recently experienced a cultural resurgence, has been honored in various ways. In 2001 she was featured on a United States Postal Service stamp. In 2010 the Bank of Mexico said it would issue a 500-peso bill featuring the faces of Kahlo and her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera.
A Mexican website La Neta Noticias this week said that social media users had suggested who the doll really looks like — another cultural figure. The Mexican singer and actress Bibi Gaytán.