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Spaightwood Galleries

120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193; 800-809-3343

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Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / DADA and Surrealisn / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Original Prints: Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France)

Arp / Coutaud / Delvaux / De Chirico / Ernst / Fini / Giacometti / Hayter / Höch / Klee / Lam / Magritte / Masson / Matta / Miró
Picasso / Richier / Seligmann / Sutherland / Tanning/ Toyon / Wunderlich

Fini: Sultanes and Magiciennes / Fini 2: Sphinxes / Fini: Paralellment / Fini 4: Portraits / Fini 5: Cats
Fini 6: Le Livre de Monelle
Leonor Fini's art offers a woman's take on surrealism, which large dealt with male fantasies, by offering a female view of the female body and of erotic pleasures. Fini was one of the more international figures of the Surrealist movement. She was born in Argentina, raised in her mother's home town of Trieste, Italy, and spent most of her artistic life in Paris, where she had her first one-person show in 1932 (her first one-person show took place in Milan at the Galerie Barbaroux in 1929; her first one-person show in Paris was at the Galerie Bonjean in 1932). Although she was friends with many of the leading surrealists (including Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Victor Brauner), she never formally joined the movement though she did include her works in several of their International Surrealist Exhibitions. After the Second World War, she had many one-person shows in Europe and America (plus a major retrospective in Japan in 1972). Although she is best known for her paintings, prints, and drawings, she also created stage designs for operas and ballets including one of her own, Le Rêve de Leonor (1949), which was choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton and performed to music by Sir Benjamin Britten. Fini's works are to be found in many important collections of modern art. Her obituary in The London Times stressed her physical beauty, her erotic art, and her legions of lovers, whose names "read like a roll call of the literary and artistic talents of that brilliant age."

Bibliography: General works: Marcel Brion, Leonor Fini et son Oeuvre (Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1955); Jean-Claude Dedieu, Leonor Fini. Fêtes. Secrèts. Dessins (Paris: Editions du Regard, 1978); Leonor Fini, Chats d'Atelier (France: Michèle Trinckvel, 1994); Leonor Fini et al, Leonor Fini (Paris: Galerie Dionne, 1997); Leonor Fini (Preface), Leonor Fini Peintures (France: Michèle Trinckvel, 1994); Leonor Fini and José Alvarez, Le livre de Leonor Fini. Peintures, dessins, écrits, notes de Leonor Fini (Lausanne: La guilde de Livre, 1975); Xaviere Gauthier, Leonor Fini (Paris: Le Musée De Poche, 1979), Jean Genet, Lettre à Léonor Fini (Paris: Loyau, 1950); Jocelyne Godard,   Leonor Fini, ou, Les metamorphoses d'une oeuvre (Paris, Le Semaphore, 1996); Jean Paul Guibbert, Leonor Fini: Graphique (France: Editions Clair Fontaine, 1976); Constantin Jelenski, Leonor Fini (London: The Olympia Press, 1968); Andre Pierre de Mandiargues, Masques de Leonor Fini (Paris: La Parade/André Bonne, 1951); Esther Seldson, Leonor Fini (Bournemouth: Parlstone, 1999); Peter Webb, Sphinx: The Life and Art of Leonor Fini (NY: Vendome Press, 2009).
Ilaria. Original color lithograph, 1975. Edition ubnknown (c. 225). Ours is an artist's proof annotated "E.A. 7/30" (epreuve d'artiste). Fini's sphinxes, of which this is the best known, like her vampires, ponder the paradox of women: wise, but destructive, beautiful, but inhuman. Illustrated in Le livre de Leonor Fini (p. 111) and Seldson. Image size: 754x555mm. Price: $4500.
Sphinx. Original color lithograph, 1975. 225 signed & numbered impressions, of which ours is n. 204/225. Fini's sphinxes, of which this is one of the best known, like her vampires, ponder the paradox of women: wise, but destructive, beautiful, but inhuman. Image size: 648x494mm. Price: $2750.
The Beauty. Original color lithograph, 1974. Edition unknown (c. 150-275). Ours is an artist's proof on Arches annotated "E.A. 3/20" (epreuve d'artiste). Illustrated in Le livre de Leonor Fini (p. 111) and Seldson, Leonor Fini. Image size: 701x518mm. Price: $2750.
Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France), Vespertilla. Original color lithograph, 1970. 195 signed and numbered impressions. In classical mythology and epic poetry, the harpies were underwold goddesses, avengers of faults against women in particular. Inevitably they were described as disgusting creatures who befouled the food of their victims. Fini's harpy combines the upper body of a beautiful woman with stubby wings instead of arms, with the bottom of a raptor whose large savage claws suggest more direct pssibilities of punishment. Image size: 695x518mm. Price: $2750.
La Leçon de Rhetorique. Original color serigraph, c. 1976. Edition unknown (c. 250 impressions). Ours is one of a deluxe suite of 100, signed and numbered in Roman numerals (LXVII/C). There was also an unsigned edition published in the livre d'artiste Leçons. Venus, the goddess of beauty, who is rather gaudily dressed, is depicted teaching Cupid, the god of Love, how to deal with mortals.. Image size: 407x406mm. Price: $2550.
The Magician. Original etching on gray paper, c. 1974. Edition: 200 signed and numbered impressions for Les elus de la nuit. Ours is an H.C. impression on hand-made gray Arches paper with Fini's cat's head drystamp. Annotated "H.C. 16/20." Illustrated Selsdon, Leonor Fini. Image size: 396x298mm. Price: $1250.
The Teacher. Original etching on gray paper, c. 1974. Edition: 150 signed & numbered impressions, of which ours is n. 113/150. Impression on hand-made Arches gray paper with Fini's cat's head drystamp. Four small pinholes by upper left, lower left, and lower right platemarks. Image size: 446x350mm. Price: $1250.

(P.S. The paper is a uniform dark gray.)

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