Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France), Retour de voyage II. Original color lithograph, 1985. 275 signed and numbered impressions and artist proofs (Epreuves d'artiste). Pencil signed by Fini lower right; penciled numbered ("EA 14/25") lower left. A woman sits on an invisible cushion in an elaborate gown before a fabric screen wearing an elaborate turban. Fini invites the viewer to consider Woman in several roles: goddess, ruler, priest, mage. This is one of two prints on this theme that Fini made in 1985. Image and sheet size: 29 3/4 x 22 inches.
Leonore Fini 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 but did include her work in several of the 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 many 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