Leonora Carrington

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Leonora at her studio in Mexico when she was painting "Nunscape at Manzanillo".

Leonora Carrington (Chorley, Lancashire, 1917 - Mexico City, 2011) was a British-born Mexican surrealist painter, sculptor and a novelist. In Florence, Italy, she received her first formal training in painting; in London she attended the Chelsea School of Arts and the painting Academy of Amédée Ozenfant. In 1937, she met Max Ernst, with whom she became involved romantically and artistically. Carrington was a member of a rare trio of Mexico-based female surrealists along with Frida Kahlo and Remedios Varo; with Remedios Varo, she developed an illusionistic Surrealism.

Nothing Carrington has created--ever--is one-dimensional or literal, despite appearing so. Her universe, multi-determined, layered, and polyvalent, is not readily accessible. The source of her creativity flows through her personal history, lifting fragments of ancestral information, documenting moments in time to transform them into permanent events. [1]


Leonora Carrington Los hombres pajaro de Burnley.jpg Los hombres pájaro de Burnley, 1977.


Portrait of Max Ernst, 1939.

Carrington married photographer Emerico "Chiqui" Weisz in 1946. Carrington has spent many years in Mexico, a country that has offered her enormous inspiration, with its many legends and rich mythology. During her life in Mexico, she has created an enormous body of artistic work, creating hundreds of wonderful paintings, sculptures as well as writing her most important books. [2]

Ms. Carrington was known for her haunting, dreamlike works that often focused on strange ritual-like scenes with birds, cats, unicorn-like creatures, and other animals as onlookers or seeming participants. [3]

Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska has won the Barcelona prize "Biblioteca Breve de Novela", 2011, for his novel about the life of Leonora Carrington.


Nunscape at Manzanillo, 1956.


Her female protagonists are like the Sibyls, sorceresses, and priestesses of some ancient religion: their journeys are mythic voyages that unravel like fairy tales. [4]



Salvador Dalí liked her - "a most important woman artist," he called her. [5] “She was the last great living surrealist,’’ said longtime friend and poet Homero Aridjis. “She was a living legend.’’

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