Sotheby’s will feature a selection of $22 million in works by Latin American artists in next week’s Impressionist and Modern sales. The works will have a spotlight section titled The Vanguard Spirit in Monday’s sale.
Alongside Frida Kahlo and Wifredo Lam, Sotheby’s hopes female surrealist Leonor Fini’s Figures on a Terrace dated 1938 will make $400,000-600,000. The highest price achieved for a work by the artist at auction is $628,161 for Les quatres saisons, which sold at Christie’s in London in 1990. If the work coming up for sale reaches it’s high estimate, it will be among the leading works by the artist to sell at auction.
The painting has only had one owner, prominent Surrealist collector Edward James, whom Fini met at a gathering in 1936 hosted by Salvador Dalí in Pars. James bought the work from Paris’ Galerie Montaigne the same year the work was completed. On loan to the Tate London in 1980 and later shown at Baruch college for a showcase dedicated to women in Surrealism, this sale marks the work’s debut to the public since the mid-1980s.
The Buenos Aires native came to Paris in 1931 to launch her painting career among the European avant-garde, where she forged a close relationship with surrealist Max Ernst and became associated with his circle— despite having never formally aligning with the group.
Fini’s work is known for its references to Romanticism that was influential to the European Surrealists and merging allusions to classic mythology. Critics have noted that Fini’s work focuses on female consciousness, distinguishing her from her male Surrealist counterparts.