Composition with figures on a terrace | Leonor Fini | 1939
Leonor Fini was a versatile artist. Among her contributions, we can highlight painting, costume designer for movies, decoration for theaters, design of perfumes, book publication and a long etcetera.
But she was also very eccentric. She rejected the idea of marriage and preferred to live “in group”, it is, with several people at the time. After falling in love with an Italian diplomat and moving with him, the artist also becomes interested in a Polish writer, to whom she invites to live also in her Parisian apartment. In this situation, the 3 decide to live together, next to the 23 cats of the artists (yes, Fini kept 23 cats in an apartment). The threesome and the cats will remain together until the death of Fini in 1996.
It was there in Paris where he meets and becomes friend with artists like Picasso, Max Ernst, the writer Jean Cocteau and the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, all of them, liked by the surrealist movement. The experiences with them will influence Fini’s paintings, where we will find female-related motifs mixed with the fantasies of the unconscious. In Composition with figures on a terrace we see some kind of surrealist matriarchy, in which the women have wild and dominant features. We can see them with the hair untidy, elegantly dressed and with a pronounced cleavage (let us remember that, in the year 1939, this type of cleavages could be considered pornographic). Both women in the foreground seem to be in control of the poor man that, sitting in a position below them, gives us the impression of being a slave.