Leonor Fini

Although born in Argentina in 1907, Leonor Fini was raised in Trieste in northern Italy. Already in her childhood, she was imbued with classical Italian culture by her family and bourgeois entourage, which would permanently influence her art. It was at the age of seventeen that she really started her career as a self-taught painter. Inevitably, the call of the artistic hub of Paris drove Leonor Fini to the City of Light in 1937, after having spent 13 years in the Milan scene.

In Paris, she was quickly introduced to the Surrealists, of which, refusing any label, she was never a true part. Yet, the theories and ideals as formulated or adopted by Breton, Eluard, Ernst, and Man Ray had a decisive influence on her art, both in terms of subject matter and in the way in which she conceived the creative act, and also included drawing and automatic writing in her practice. The work of Leonor Fini cannot be strictly limited to her pictorial creations; a muse of photographers, artists, writers, and filmmakers, staging of her own personality and body was also a facet. At the same time, depicting women was at the heart of her work. Assuming an implacable and eternal ambivalence, Leonor Fini made them alternately appear as predators or victims, as domineering or passive objects of contemplation – but always beautiful and voluptuous, fatal and carnal.

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Leonor Fini's work cannot be limited to his painted production alone; as a muse for photographers, artists, writers and filmmakers, the staging of his own personality as well as his body is also a facet of his work. At the same time, the image of the woman is at the heart of his painting, taking on an implacable and eternal ambivalence. Leonor Fini makes her in turn predator or victim, dominatrix or impassive object of contemplation, always beautiful and voluptuous, fatal and carnal.
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