Talented, glamorous and ambitious, Leonor Fini was one of the most influential female artists of the 1930s. From her opulent, bohemian childhood in Italy to her debut in a group exhibition at the age of seventeen and her rise in the international art world, Fini was legendary for both her vivacious personality and her ethereal subjects. This is the first comprehensive look at Finis life and art.
Fini’s figures—sphinxes, felines, nymphs, priestesses, nudes— are bold proclamations of female sexuality that convey a powerful feminine subconscious. Also renowned for her theatrical set-design, costumes and posters, the artist developed close relationships with other avant-garde Surrealists including Andre Breton, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, who became her lover. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s nude portrait of Fini in a pool, taken while they were vacationing together, recently sold at auction for a record sum. Sphinx is a fascinating portrait of a magnetic woman who lived her life with panache and elegance, deftly wrapping drama into her art. “Fêted for her paintings, illustrations, theatre designs and, above all, her flamboyant bohemian lifestyle.” ~ The Sunday Telegraph: Stella Magazine
“One of the most flamboyantly potent female artists of the mid-20th century — outspoken, provocative and willfully contrary.” ~ The Times
“A sort of female Dalí—colourful, extravagant, as famous in her heyday for her personal appearance as her art.”~ Malkin Towers Media blog
“This opulent tome befits her perfectly.” Grazia
“Dreamlike paintings.” ~ ELuxury
“One of those artists whose life may have been her greatest work.” ~ The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Glamorous Surrealist.” ~ Vogue
“A sensuous celebration of female sexuality.” ~ Dangerous Minds
“Her story is certainly fantastic.” ~ Spectator
“Compellingly individual.” ~ Bloomberg.com
“A fascinating subject.” ~ The Art Newspaper
“Gorgeous.” ~ Nothing Elegant blog
“A wonderful visual survey of an extraordinary career.” ~ The Independent
“Exquisite.” ~ The Vintage Academe Blog
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Peter Webb, a British art historian, has written widely on 20th century British, American and European Surrealism and erotic art and photography.
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