La grande Parade des Chats Illustrations by Leonor Fini
Containing sixty illustrations all hand signed
This is from a unique special run being one of only 35 copies produced for personal use by Leonor Fini these were numbered EA 1 to EA 35
This example being EA 9 and has been personally dedicated and signed by the artist to her friend Philippe Aetmann
A mid century modern artist Leonor Fini 1907-1996
There was a small run of this Limited Edition in total 250 copies numbered and signed by the artist with 230 copies printed on hand made Arches paper and another 20 on Japon nacre
Through time most of these books have been been split up and the illustrations sold off individually
Consequently there are very few complete examples remaining
Original printed hardcover containing the book itself printed with winged cats (reference to her Sphinx women)
Unique copy in very good condition with only minor signs of age
Leonor Fini (1907–1996) is considered one of the most important women artists of the twentieth century and also one of the most misunderstood. Frequently labeled a surrealist she was never a member of that group or movement, preferring to stake her own claim on modernism with a vision that owes more to the farthest shores of her imagination than to any affiliation with art trends, schools or movements. The originality of her art as well as her intelligence, famous wit and charisma accorded her celebrity status in the Paris art world and beyond beginning in the late thirties.
Often eclipsing and even compromising her standing as a major artist was the originality and impact of her personal style. Her panache and glamour, once they found a place in the collective imagination of the time, turned her into a much-publicized fashion and feminist icon. Always controversial, with as many detractors as admirers, she lived and painted consummately on her own terms.
Born in Buenos Aires of mixed Spanish, Italian, Argentine and Slavic blood, Leonor was raised in Trieste by her single mother where she absorbed the multi-ethnic and mixed cultural heritage of that cosmopolitan center.
The predominant themes in Leonor Fini’s art are sexual tensions, mysteries and games. One of her favored subjects is the interplay between the dominant female and the passive male, and in many of her most powerful works the female takes the form of the sphinx to which she felt a strong identification.
Her genius for stage and screen design is evident in her numerous ground breaking theater decors with their elaborate conception, costumes and phantasmagorical masks. She designed for the Paris Opera, George Balanchine’s ballet Palais de Crystal, and choreographer Roland Petit’s company Ballets de Paris, for Maria Callas at the La Scala theater in Milan, as well as over seventy productions at theaters in Paris between 1946 and 1969. She had a unique talent for film design and created costumes for Fellini's 8 ½ as well as for Renato Castellani's Romeo and Juliet and John Huston’s A Walk with Love and Death.
In 1931, with an Italian prince who was her fiancé, she moved to Paris to forge a career as an artist. She quickly abandoned the prince, proclaimed her independence and formed friendships with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and the writer André Pieyre de Mandiargues who became her lover. She had her first one person show in Paris when she was twenty-five at a gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work caught on fast and was included in the pivotal and groundbreaking exhibition at the MOMA in 1936 while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition at the avant-garde Julien Levy Galley.
The provocative and much-publicized life of Leonor Fini was pure theater. Her story is that of a hard-won struggle to forge her life as a woman artist in a man’s world and to invent herself on her own terms. It is the story of a woman possessing exceptional independence, a highly original vision and great personal magnetism who lived passionately through her art and friendships and in the process became a feminist role model. As for her personal life, she is known for her unique design for living which was based on the practice of not parting company with ex-lovers but continuing to live with them even as new lovers moved in and took their place in her life. In spite of herself she thus gained a certain notoriety as being the originator and best known devotee of that modern practice which consists of a woman’s right to cultivate and nurture an in-house male harem.
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