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Leonor Fini, 'Splendid Devil'

Leonor Fini photo
Leonor Fini Photo

The eccentric artist, she was a famous Surrealism interpreter in Europe.
From the start her life was quite surreal.
Her parents divorced soon after her birth in Buenos Ayres, 1907, and her Italian mother picked up Leonor and their belongings and returned to Trieste, Italy. To prevent Leonor's kidnapping by her Argentine father who soon travelled to Italy, she had been disguised as a boy for 5 years whenever she left the house. And it worked! Her father gave up his attempts and returned to Argentina for good.


The Guardian of Sources

Due to an eye disease Leonor had been wearing bandages on her eyes for quite a while. After regaining her health she was determined to become an artist. At the age of 17 she had her first exhibition.
In 1931 Fini moved to Paris and soon became popular.

Room With Echo

Two Jealous Sisters

Entre Deux

She entered the circle of famous writers and artists as Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Picasso, Salvador Dalí.
Although Fini developed friendships within the Surrealist Group, she refused to join them and always denied being one of them.
Throughout her career Fini changed styles, techniques and media. She designed costumes and decorations for theater, opera and ballet, two films, painted portraits of many celebrities, illustrated books (one of them is an erotic novel about dominance and submission "Story of O"), wrote 3 novels. Her works have been presented in major museums and galleries.

Some facts:

In 1936 Fini arranged a meeting with one of the Surrealists in a cafe, arriving there dressed in a cardinal's scarlet robes.
She kept a total of 23 at one time and took them with her while travelling.
She said, 'A woman should live with two men: one more a lover and the other more a friend." For 40 years she had managed such a threesome.
Fini lived for forty years in a menage-a-trois with Count Stanislao Lepri, former Italian consul in Monte Carlo, and Constanine Jelenski, a Polish writer and journalist.
Once she appeared at a gallery opening wearing nothing a Siberian wolf-fur coat.

Casta Diva



Comtess Mita Corti

Portrait of Emeline de Casteja


Return from Voyage

The Beauty



Great Curiosity

Impossible Dialogue



Ungrateful Twins

Rhetorical Lesson

The Blind

The Metamorphoses of a Woman 1

The Metamorphoses of a Woman 2

The Portrait of Mrs. H

The Mason's Son

The Siren


Prison Zigrifine



The Place of Birth

The Portrait of Cesare Pavani

Standing Nude of Cesare Pavani

Sunday afternoon. Fini adored cats and lived surrounded by large numbers of them. This is a version of Fini's favorite painting which travelled with her from Paris to St. Dye every year.

The shooting star. This
is a portrait of Arianne Lancell, the publisher of two portfolios of Fini's prints.

The White Train

Standing Man, Sleeping Woman

The Women of the 30s

A lot of her beautiful artwork here.

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