Leonor Fini - Les Adelphes - image-1

Lot 116 D

Leonor Fini - Les Adelphes

Auction 1162 - overview Cologne
08.12.2020, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 80.000 € - 100.000 €
Result: 137.500 € (incl. premium)

Leonor Fini

Les Adelphes

Oil on canvas 129.5 x 96.5 cm Signed and dated 'Leonor Fini' in greenish blue lower right.

Leonor Fini, who was born in Buenos Aires and grew up in Trieste in a middle-class intellectual milieu, came to Paris in 1937 and joined the Surrealists. Her soundly based knowledge of philosophical writings, her keen interest in psychology, mythology and magic and her aspiration, as a woman, to be perceived as a sensually erotic but simultaneously self-determined and powerful person furnished her with a special role within the circle of her fellow artists.
Fini's paintings are carried out with an extremely fine brushstroke and conjure up enigmatic visual worlds on their immaculate surfaces. These dream-like sequences full of erotic and morbid fantasies unfold a particularly captivating and unsettling effect in their contrast with the perfect painterly execution.
“Les Adelphes”, the title of this work, could be an allusion to the comedy of that name by the Roman dramatist Terence (Engl.: “Adelphoe/The Brothers”) or to the French expression “mariage adelphique”, which refers to a marriage between siblings related by birth. There is an intimate and perhaps illicit connection between the sleeping female nude in the foreground and the two androgynous individuals engaged in a pensive dialogue above the body draped across the bed. Whether the reclining woman occupies the role of the victim or the seductress remains left to the viewer's fantasy.

Catalogue Raisonné

Overstreet/Zuckerman vol. II, 0749


Confirmed by Richard Overstreet and Arlette Souhami, Galerie Minsky, Paris. With a photo-certificate by Richard Overstreet, Paris, dated 20 October 2020


Galerie Lambert Monet, Geneva (stetcher label verso); acquired there by the previous owner (1979), Private possession, Rhineland, since


Gstaad 1968/1969 (Galerie Saqqarah); Geneva 1970 (Galerie Lambert Monet), Leonor Fini, cat. no. 3, with full-page colour illus.; Paris 1971 (Galerie Verrière); Tokyo/Osaka/Fukuoka City/Hiroshima/Kanazawa (Seibu Museum/Hanshin Museum/Fukuoka Museum/Hiroshima Museum of Art/Kanazawa Prefectural Museum), Leonor Fini. Retrospective, cat. no. 25