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Leonora Carrington

(1917-2011), Painter and writer

Sitter in 2 portraits
Although an original artist and writer in her own right, Carrington is also remembered in England as the ex-debutante 'wild-child' Surrealist muse and companion of artist Max Ernst in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Educated at the Chelsea School of Art, she first exhibited her work in 1936. She met Max Ernst the following year and soon afterwards they moved together to Paris where she mixed with artists like Pablo Picasso and André Breton. On the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien and Carrington escaped to Spain. She subsequently travelled to America and then to Mexico where she continues to work. She is recognised as a major figure in Latin-American Surrealism.

Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Leonora Carrington, by Lee Miller - NPG P1075

Leonora Carrington

by Lee Miller
modern archival-toned gelatin silver print from original negative, 1939
NPG P1075

Leonora Carrington, by Marion Kalter - NPG x126120

Leonora Carrington

by Marion Kalter
bromide fibre print, 1998
NPG x126120


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