Leonor Fini

sketch for playing card by Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini   (1908 - 1996)

Leonor Fini was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Trieste, Italy. As a girl she'd been expelled from three schools for her wayward behaviour, but she loved to paint and draw and persuaded her mother to let her study art. She started her studies in Milan, but knew that Paris was the place to be. In Paris she became a sensation as both an artist and a personality and was admired for her paintings, illustrations, theatre designs and, above all, her flamboyant bohemian lifestyle. The imagery of her paintings was loosely based on dreams and this led her to be associated with the Surrealists, although she preferred to remain independent of any conventions. The originality of her work is evident in these playing card designs.

playing cards designed by Argentinian artist Leonor Fini Joker designed by Argentinian artist Leonor Fini

Above & Right: playing cards designed by Argentinian artist Leonor Fini, c.1950. Each of the face cards Jack, Queen, King and a Joker have fanciful, double-ended designs, the lines full of energy and the colours bold and bright, especially in the sketches she made for the playing cards. The designs are typical of Fini's work of this period. The cards have gilt edges. The backs have a "sponge" pattern in green or purple. Images courtesy Barney Townshend.

sketch for playing card by Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini was equally adept at etching, drawing, watercolor and oil painting. Many of her paintings feature strong, beautiful women (often resembling herself) in ceremonial or provocative situations.


"Leonor Fini: surreal thing" The Daily Telegraph online.

Wikipedia article.

Last Updated January 30, 2017 at 09:11pm


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