About Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington photo
Leonora Carrington

Born in 1917 Clayton Green, South Lancashire, to an affluent family. Rebellious toward her parents’ desire for a traditional upbringing and introduction as a debutante, was expelled from private schools for her eccentric behavior before enrolling in an art academy in Florence and later studying under Amédée Ozenfant. First contact with the Surrealist circle was upon meeting with Max Ernst in 1937. Moved to Paris that year at age 20 and became a young but impressive member of Breton’s Surrealist group. With Ernst moved to Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche in 1938. In 1940, Ernst was imprisoned in an internment camp, after which Carrington suffered a nervous breakdown, and her family sent her to a mental hospital in Spain.

After escaping to New York, she departed for Mexico in 1942 where she stayed for the remainder of her life. Explored themes of alchemy, spiritual studies, myth, and the occult, and her unique oeuvre depicts magical and alchemical rituals conducted by marvels and shape-shifting beings. The Gothic-style architecture of the homes of her youth and the Celtic myth and folklore told by her Irish nanny find reoccurring expression. Died May 25, 2011 at the age of 94.