Art, Art History, Artists, Painters, painting, Surrealism

The Guardian of the Black Egg by Leonor Fini

Leonor Fini was one of the many women artists attracted by the Surrealist movement during the 1930’s. What attracted them was the anti-academic stance of the movement and by an art that put emphasis in personal reality.

But once they realized that Surrealism defined their role as one of confirming and completing the creative cycle of male artists, they decided to became independents of the movement.

According to Whitney Chadwick, Leonor Fini, as many of other women artists of Surrealism, worked in a very meticulous manner, with small and carefully brushstrokes. They often worked with the precision of an illustrator, like if what they were creating was part of a scientific investigation. Usually they presented the female body as a mysterious force/power that can regenerate nature.

Their art is of a magical fantasy.

The Guardian of the Black Egg

The Guardian of the Black Egg by Leonor Fini (1955)

This painting portrays a woman wearing a light blue cloak. She is alone in the midst of an arid desert. She has upon her legs a black egg. According to the title she is the guardian/protector of the egg. We can compare this guardian with a priestess or a shaman of pagan religions. In other paintings of the artists the egg is broken, in this one the egg is intact what many art historians had interpreted as a positive detail.

In this painting Fini reveals an interest in the unconscious, in a world of fantasy, in the combination of real and “surreal”. Also she reveals her interest in notions of mystical  and divine female powers, ancient systems of our ancestors, an interest shared by other surrealist painters as Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington.

This painting shares the same theme with The Giantess painted by Leonora Carrington. It doesn’t mean that one influenced the other, these otherworldly leanings are often hinted towards by an alchemist that is looking for, or a protector that is keeping safe the of origin. And the “timeless landscape” aspect of this work remember some works of Dalí, Yves Tanguy or Kay Sage.