Happy Birthday, Leonor Fini: The Fiery Artist



“I paint pictures which do not exist and which I would like to see.”- Argentine  painter, Leonor Fini (August 30, 1908- January 18, 1996)*


 fini cats and dolls

fini woman with cats



Leonor on her aesthetic strategy:  “I strike it, stalk it, try to make it obey me.  Then in its disobedience, it forms things I like.”


“She is magnificent, perturbing, mocking enigmatic, terrible and compassionate.  She is Leonor Fini; painter of the surreal, illustrator of books, theater.  Her art is the crack in the mirror, the edge of the equation, the dream of tremendous important half-grasped upon awakening, whose meaning dissolves with daylight.”- Catherine Styles McLeod  from the Architectural Digest , March 1986

 leonor fini

“In her life as well as her art, Fini continually advanced the notion of autonomous, absolute woman; beautiful, imperious, and governed by passion.”-  Whitney Chadwick, Art Historian

fini ladies




fini casta diva


links for further information on this extraordinary painter and writer:



* some sources claim her birth year as 1907

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 10:32 am  Comments (20)  
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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ooooh! Wow, thanks for the introduction. I really like the last painting… The colors, the juxtaposition, the faces…

  2. “I paint pictures which do not exist and which I would like to see.”
    -that’s pretty much how I feel about writing novels.

    Wow. I’d never heard of her, but I can see I’m going to be doing some research in the near future.

  3. Heya Sput,

    Glad you like the paintings. Regarding the last painting, yes- especially the young girl’s face. It’s so dreamy and pensive.

  4. Hey Amy,

    I immediatey thought the same thing when I read that quote. Very similar to our adage of, “write the story you want to read”. 🙂

    She was a very fascinating woman.

  5. Great images, all of them.

    Also there seems to be two themes joining all the images: women wearing billowing dresses and cats.

    Just saying.


  6. Heya Ralfast,

    Yes- she definitely held a fascination with felines. 🙂

  7. Remarkable style, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. How in the world did you discover her?

  8. Most of the women have billowy dresses, but in the second painting, the woman on the last shelf looks nude, and the cat has a possessive or protective paw on her.

    …I really hope that doesn’t make me come off as weird for noticing it.

  9. Intriguing work. Thanks for sharing that!

  10. Love the cat art–awesome 🙂

  11. Hey DD,

    Awhile back I was reading up on surrealist literature and art. I found a site that disussed female surrealist painters, including Fini. (though evidently she didn’t like that label)

    I was immediately fascinated by her work.

  12. Hi Edward,

    Glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

  13. Marian,

    You needn’t worry about appearing weird when you visit my blog. 😉

  14. Hey Colby,

    Oh, that’s right. You’re a fellow cat lover. She’s the perfect artist for you. 🙂

    *I resisted the “purrfect”*

  15. Amazing work! I love all of them.

  16. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hi Dawn,

    Nice to hear from you, and really glad you like her artwork. 🙂

  18. Hey Jenna,

    Glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  19. “I strike it. I stalk it. I try to make it obey me.” Sounds an awful lot like my writing process, lol. I absolutely love these paintings. As in, really have fallen in love with them. Thank you so much for the introduction.

    Marian, I noticed the same thing – I don’t think you could be considered weird for noticing what is there for all to see!

  20. Uppington,

    It sounds like my writing process, too. Only I’ve given up trying to make it obey me. I settle for compromises now. 😉

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