An Erotic Dream World

Visage Leonor Fini


Leonor Fini, who has died in Paris, age eighty-seven could

Justifiably be called the last to go up to a surrealist heaven

Born in Buenos Aires of Italian and Slav parentage

She was brought up in Trieste

In the circle of James Joyce and Rainer Maria Rilke




She moved to Paris in 1931 and quickly was received enthusiastically

Some say that it had more to do with her improper sense of dress than her talent or her diligence

She joined the cafe meetings of

Breton and Cartier-Bresson, Max Ernst, Paul Eluard, Georges Bataille

Their misogyny really irritated her

But she wasn’t one to let it cramp her style




At the outbreak of war, Leonor moved to Monte Carlo

And fell in love with a count who was in the service of the Fascists

She persuaded him to leave and later on she fell in love again

The three of them set up house and lived forty years as friends

leonor fini 10

They say that she created an erotic dream world

Where women are disguised as the sphinx

The image of the female self

Subverting the male’s dialogue with his dick

Leonor (one more time!)

Leonor (go, girl!)


Superb food, prepared by her constant companion, chef and secretary Rafael Martinez

Would be served, also shared with her eighteen exotic cats

All encouraged to roam and help themselves

Woe betide the visitor who tried to intervene

Leonor Fini remained her own person, an independent women of great talent and presence

Until the end.

~ Music & lyrics by Katell Keineg

‘Seven Cats’ by Leonor Fini

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The Mystery of Tutu

This morning I listened to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on BBC Radio 4’s Cultural Exchange programme (in which creative minds choose their favourite cultural work) and learnt about Ben Ewonwu, the Nigerian artist ( 1917 – 1994). Adichie spoke about Ewonwu’s painting Tutu, of a Yoruba princess. The original painting has been missing for years, but when Adichie was growing up in Nnusuka, in South-east Nigeria, a print of the work was in practically every middle-class Nigerian household. It is still on the wall of her parents’ home.

‘Tutu’ by Ben Ewonwu

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Composed by Edward Gorey

If I could spend a few hours each week in a picture, it would have to be in one drawn by Edward Gorey. There would never be a dull moment, although it might be more genteel excitement that I could take.

edward gorey

As writing pictures go this is damned near as perfect as it gets. Look at her! We should all be able to assume such elegance of posture and countenance while contemplating the construction of a perfect sentence while a dead body lies at our feet.

Purrfect Combination


By Monica Barengo

A book, cats, tea. Yes.

No Ants

Remember the picture by Botero of a woman lying on the grass and reading? This one is much better. No ants crawling up your leg to nestle in your pubes.

I can’t read lying on my stomach though. My head feels like it’s going to fall off. Maybe I have a particularly heavy head.