The World of Playing Cards Logo

Leonor Fini

The originality of Leonor Fini's work is evident in these playing card designs. The imagery of her paintings was loosely based on dreams and this led her to be associated with the Surrealists...

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.

REFERENCES

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

Wikipedia article

avatar

By Barney Townshend

Member since October 06, 2015

View Articles

Retired Airline Pilot, interested in: Transformation Playing Cards, Karl Gerich and Elaine Lewis. Secretary of the EPCS. Treasurer of the IPCS.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

Jeu de Tarot Pocket Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Jeu de Tarot Pocket Fantasy/Science-Fiction

Tarot game pack with fantasy sci-fi artwork on the trumps published by Pocket SF, France.

2000 San Playing Cards

San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

1935 Müller: Richelieu

Müller: Richelieu

This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.

1906 Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten

Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.

1870 Transformation Cards for Christmas

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.

2020 Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards

Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards

Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba, 2020.

2003 Alice

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

2003 Liberty

Liberty

Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1990 Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini

Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.

1989 Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989

2005 Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère

Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.

1988 Seefahrers II

Seefahrers II

‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.

1980 Sanyo Ukiyo-E

Sanyo Ukiyo-E

Ukiyo-E deck for Sanyo Enterprise Co.

1979 Year of the Child

Year of the Child

Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.

1976 Maya Deck

Maya Deck

The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.

1986 Einhorn

Einhorn

‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.

2015 Bicycle Steampunk

Bicycle Steampunk

Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.

1862 New Figures by A. I. Charlemagne, 1862

New Figures by A. I. Charlemagne, 1862

“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.

2018 Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights

Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.

2017 Friendly Felines

Friendly Felines

‘Friendly Felines’ playing cards designed by Azured Ox, 2017.

2018 Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt

Gods of Egypt playing cards dedicated to the culture of Ancient Egypt.

2017 Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Bicycle 808 Bourbon

Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017.

2018 Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.

Kaiserkarte

Kaiserkarte

“Kaiserkarte” first published by Schneider & Co in 1895-1897 for the Imperial Court.

1980 Egyptian Tarot

Egyptian Tarot

Egyptian Tarot published by Naipes La Banca, Buenos Aires, c.1980.

1995 Naipes Criollos

Naipes Criollos

“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.

2002 Naipes Cardón

Naipes Cardón

Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.

2003 El Oráculo de la Bruja

El Oráculo de la Bruja

“El Oráculo de la Bruja” fortune-telling cards, 2003.

2017 Age of Dragons

Age of Dragons

Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.

2010 Anne Stokes Collection

Anne Stokes Collection

Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.

1979 The Deck of Cards

The Deck of Cards

The Deck of Cards by Andrew Jones Art, 1979.

2000 Martín Fierro

Martín Fierro

Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.

68: Playing cards in glass

68: Playing cards in glass

My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.

Chinese Jokers

Chinese Jokers

Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.

2018 Ken McCarthy

Ken McCarthy

An unknown deck by Ken McCarthy, c.2018.

1980 Les Grandes Figures de L’Histoire Bretonne

Les Grandes Figures de L’Histoire Bretonne

Les Grandes Figures de L’Histoire Bretonne

2018 Kalevala

Kalevala

Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.

2009 Hearts of London

Hearts of London

Hearts of London for British Heart Foundation 2009.

1893 Worshipful Company Pack

1893 Worshipful Company Pack

Worshipful Company Pack manufactured by Chas Goodall & Son, 1893.

2011 Roman Empire

Roman Empire

Roman Empire playing cards designed by G. Wyatt for Green Board Game Co Ltd., 2011.