Leonor Fini: Image Unsafe for Work!!

You have been warned! Scroll down a ways on this post and you'll encounter an image that isn't something you necessarily want your office mates to notice. And if at home, you might have to do some splainin' to your spouse or kids.

For those viewers remaining after the mad dash for the exit ...

An artist can't be expected to be as aesthetically pleasing as his subjects; many are not, but some lucky few are. Four years ago I wrote in the 2Blowhards blog about attractive female artists. Included in the write-up were Angelica Kauffmann, √Člisabeth Vig√©e-Lebrun, Berthe Morisot, Elin Danielson, Suzanne Valadon, Elaine de Kooning and Dorothea Tanning. In the present post, I add surrealist Leonor Fini (1907-1996) to the list.

When I was in high school, I checked out a number of 1930s and 1940s vintage library books about Surrealism. But if Fini was ever mentioned or images of her paintings shown, I missed it all. She first came to my attention about two years ago when I noticed this book about her in bookstore art sections.

Fini led a decidedly interesting and unusual life, as the above link associated with her name indicates. As an artist, she strikes me as being competent and imaginative, but not as wild as were leading surrealists such as Dalí or Max Ernst. Like the semi-surrealistic and (in my humble judgment) highly over-rated Frida Kahlo, she included images of herself in many paintings, though not to the extent Kahlo did.

As for her appearance revealed by photographs, I find Fini a very attractive women who wasn't quite classically or even everyday beautiful. The "flaws" were a slightly too-short nose and a slightly too-long distance between her nose and mouth along with a slightly small chin. Altogether, trivial "defects" that, as part of the overall package, gave her a distinctive look that could trigger the hormones of plenty of men, me included.

So let's take a look at some self-images she painted along with a number of photos of her; click on images to enlarge.


Redhead with glasses
This seems to be a self-image by Fini.

Autoportrait au turban rouge - 1938

Autoritratto - 1968

Photo of Fini, possibly by Man Ray - 1936
The web site I grabbed this from claimed the photographer was Man Ray, but the image lacks his expected flair.

Photo of Fini by Dora Maar - 1936
Maar famously was a squeeze of Picasso's. She took in-progress photos of his Guernica.

Photo of Fini by Horst P. Horst - 1946
Horst was a leading fashion photographer of the 1930s.

Fini with a basket as hat

Fini in peasant blouse

Fini at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Photo of Fini by Georges Platt Lynes - 1936
Sensational image.