Leonor Fini

1907 - 1996

Leonor Fini was an Argentinian born Italian surrealist painter, designer, illustrator, and author, known for her depictions of powerful and erotic women.

Fini was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Malvina Braun Dubich (born in Trieste, with German, Slavic and Venetian ancestry) and Herminio Fini (with ancestry from Benevento, Italy). Herminio was a handsome and very wealthy man, but also tyrannical, with extreme religious views. He made his young wife very unhappy and, within eighteen months of Leonor's birth, she fled back to Trieste with the child Leonor was raised there and she would be expelled from various schools for being rebellious. As a Catholic, Herminio refused to give Malvina a divorce, which was only granted to her in 1919 through an Italian court. Custody battles often involved Fini and her mother in sudden flights and disguises. In her early teens, an eye disease forced her to wear bandages on both eyes. After recovering, she decided to become an artist.