Women’s History Month: Artist Leonor Fini

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Portrait of Leonor Fini

“A woman should live with two men; one more a lover and the other more a friend.” ~Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini: Born in Argentina in 1907, had a bumpy life from the beginning. Her parents separated when she was just a year old, her mother escaped to Italy and brought Fini with her. In attempt to avoid her father from kidnapping Fini, her mother disguised her as a boy for several years. 

Early in her teens she developed an eye disease which caused her to wear bandages on both eyes for quite some time. Needless to say during this horrible moment in her life she was able to develop an inner vision, causing her to pick up art after her bandages were removed. She translated her visions onto the canvas and instantly became intrigued by art, exploring museums whenever she had the chance, reading art historical books, and researching the Pre Raphaelites, Renaissance masters, and Romanticism. She took this new passion of hers and pursued it with perseverance.

In 1931 she moved to Paris, instantly became a legend, and befriended many painters including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. She was quickly adopted by the surrealists befriending Max Ernst, Magritte, Brauner and other member of the Surrealist Group. Although she was somewhat involved with the members of the surrealist group and her works evoked surrealism aspects, used images from her subconscious and participated in major Surrealism exhibitions, she denied being considered a surrealist until the day she died.

Throughout her career Fini changed styles and utilized different techniques. Her works which included sphinxes, felines, nymphs, priestesses, nudes all represent the female as goddesses and warriors at a time when women were being defined by men.

Towards the end of her successful life she worked for the theatre designing set scenes and costumes.

She was also know to be labelled as ‘cat lady’ and at one point in her life had 23 cats.

Her independent mind, incredible talent and unique personality have labelled her as one of the few internationally recognized female artists before the 1970’s.

A surrealist or not, Fini was an incredible artist and has made a lasting contribution to the history of art.

Leonor Fini-Self-Portrait with Red Hat (1968)
Leonor Fini-Self-Portrait with Red Hat (1968)

Leonor Fini-Le Bout du monde
Leonor Fini-Le Bout du monde

Leonor Fini-La Gardienne des Sources (1967)
Leonor Fini-La Gardienne des Sources (1967)

Leonor Fini-Autoritratto con Chimera
Leonor Fini-Autoritratto con Chimera

Leonor Fini-Héliodora (1964)
Leonor Fini-Héliodora (1964)

Leonor Fini-Mutants
Leonor Fini-Mutants

Leonor-Fini-Self-Portrait
Leonor-Fini-Self-Portrait

Baterbys is lucky enough to own a collection of Leonor Fini’s and you have the chance to as well. Visit our online store at Baterbys.com or come visit our gallery located in Winter Park, FL ( 460 N. Orlando Ave., Unit 116, Winter Park, FL 32789).

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