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Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Original Watercolors, Lithographs, and etchings: Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France)

Fini: Sultanes and Magiciennes / Fini 2: Sphinxes / Fini: Paralellment / Fini 4: Portraits / Fini 5: Cats / Fini 6: Le Livre de Monelle
Arp / Coutaud / Delvaux / De Chirico / Ernst / Fini / Giacometti / Hayter / Höch / Klee / Lam / Magritte / Masson / Matta / Miró
Picasso / Richier / Seligmann / Sutherland / Tanning/ Toyen / Wunderlich
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: José Alvarez, Le livre de Leonor fini. Peintures, dessins, écrits, notes de Leonor Fini (Lausanne: La guilde de Livre, 1975); 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); 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).
Two women. Original watercolor, 1969. Signed in ink lower right. This is one of the preparatory watercolors made while she was working on the deluxe edition of Parallement by Paul Verlaine published by Editions Tartas, Paris. As always in Fini, the situation may be ambiguous, but the emotions the work depicts are not. The sitting figure (daughter? young woman? innocent? interested? involved?) seems to be in the process of exploring the body of the reclining figure (sleeping? satiated from a concluded encounter?). The uncertainty puts the viewer in the position of someone seeing a scene they should not be able to see but at which they have no desire to stop looking. We are drawn to the forbidden and there is no way to keep from becoming involved in it. Slightly toned at extreme edges of sheet. Image size: 180x295mm. Price: $12, 500.
Les trois amies. Original color lithograph, 1969. For the deluxe edition of Parallement by Paul Verlaine published by Editions Tartas, Paris. 150 signed and numbered impressions apart from the book edition of 275 with a centerfold. Image size: 380x557mm. Price: $1675.
Nude with red hair. Original color lithograph, 1969. For the deluxe edition of Parallement by Paul Verlaine published by Editions Tartas, Paris. 150 signed and numbered impressions apart from the book edition of 275 with a centerfold. Ours is a signed impression annotated E.A. Image size: 387x250mm. Price: $1750.
Eight Women. Original etching with hand-applied watercolor, 1972. 175 signed and numbered impressions. Women's intimacy with each other is anoother of Fini's themes. Sometims explicitly sexual, sometimes apparently just the intimacy of friends, the psychological tension (if not the erotic) that always occurs in her depictions of men and women is missing. Image size: 405x590mm. Price: $2750.
Aerotics. Original color lithograph, c. 1969. 100 signed and numbered impressions on Japon, of which this is n. 90/100. (Despite appearancees, the paper is without defects and is in fact a beautiful hand-made patterned Japon paper tha adds to the eroticism of the scene depicted. Image size: 380x558mm. Price: $1750.
Le train blanc / The White Train. Original color lithograph, 1966. 250 signed and numbered impressions. Image size: 387x577mm. Price: $2750.
Two girls in large hats. Original etching and drypoint with hand-applied watercolor in pink, orange and yellow, circa 1970, signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 150, published by Art et Valaur, Paris and with their blindstamp in the lower margin, on Arches paper. Fini was not a fan of children because, she once observed, "when there are children in the room, everybody does not look at me." Image size: 298x346mm Price: $1250.

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