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Artists Leonora Carrington
Leonora Carrington Photo

Leonora Carrington

British Painter

Movements and Styles: Surrealism, Proto-Feminist Artists

Born: April 6, 1917 - Clayton Green, Lancashire, England

Died: May 25, 2011 - Mexico City, Mexico

Leonora Carrington Timeline

Quotes

"Painting is a need, not a choice."
Leonora Carrington
"Reason must know the heart's reasons and every other reason."
Leonora Carrington
"Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves."
Leonora Carrington
"The duty of the right eye is to plunge into the telescope, whereas the left eye interrogates the microscope."
Leonora Carrington
"I am as mysterious to myself as I am to others."
Leonora Carrington
"like talking dogs - we adored the master and did tricks for him"
Carrington on Surrealist women artists

"I didn't have time to be anyone's muse... I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist."

Leonora Carrington Signature

Synopsis

Leonora Carrington established herself as both a key figure in the Surrealist movement and an artist of remarkable individuality. Her biography is colorful, including a romance with the older artist Max Ernst, an escape from the Nazis during World War II, mental illness, and expatriate life in Mexico. In her art, her dreamlike, often highly detailed compositions of fantastical creatures in otherworldly settings are based on an intensely personal symbolism. The artist herself preferred not to explain this private visual language to others. However, themes of metamorphosis and magic, as well as frequent whimsy, have given her art an enduring appeal.

Key Ideas

Carrington shared the Surrealists' keen interest in the unconscious mind and dream imagery. To these ideas she added her own unique blend of cultural influences, including Celtic literature, Renaissance painting, Central American folk art, medieval alchemy, and Jungian psychology.
Carrington's art is populated by hybrid figures that are half-human and half-animal, or combinations of various fantastic beasts that range from fearsome to humorous. Through this signature imagery, she explored themes of transformation and identity in an ever-changing world.
Carrington's work touches on ideas of sexual identity yet avoids the frequent Surrealist stereotyping of women as objects of male desire. Instead, she drew on her life and friendships to represent women's self-perceptions, the bonds between women of all ages, and female figures within male-dominated environments and histories.

Biography

Leonora Carrington Photo

Childhood

Leonora Carrington was born in 1917 to Harold Carrington, an English, self-made textiles magnate, and his Irish-born wife, Maurie Moorhead Carrington. Carrington spent her childhood on the family estate in Lancashire, England. There she was surrounded by animals, especially horses, and she grew up listening to her Irish nanny's fairytales and stories from Celtic folklore, sources of symbolism that would later inspire her artwork. Carrington was a rebellious and disobedient child, educated by a succession of governesses, tutors, and nuns, and she was expelled from two convent schools for bad behavior.

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Leonora Carrington Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Leonora Carrington
Interactive chart with Leonora Carrington's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Hieronymus BoschHieronymus Bosch
André BretonAndré Breton
Max ErnstMax Ernst
Salvador DalíSalvador Dalí

Personal Contacts

Carl JungCarl Jung
Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud

Movements

CubismCubism
SurrealismSurrealism

Influences on Artist
Leonora Carrington
Leonora Carrington
Years Worked: 1936 - 2011
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Frida KahloFrida Kahlo

Personal Contacts

Edward JamesEdward James

Movements

Feminist ArtFeminist Art

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Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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