A seemingly banal subject, this recurring theme of two travelling women in the same carriage became for Fini a source of tension and underlying eroticism and led to the painting of some of her most sensual and mesmerizing works. As Constantin Jelenski points out in his monograph on the artist, with Fini, the train carriage is like a theatre box. Leonor Fini explains her fascination for the theme as folllows: “What is more delimited than a train carriage where, beyond the immobile position, almost everything is forbidden. […] Train carriages are thus both nerve-wracking and protective. Places of passing complicity where we slumber in false sleep, where we let ourselves be overtaken by claustrophobic, ecstatic or criminal dreams.”
Il s’agit sans doute d’Azraêl (No doubt it is Azrael) is one of the last works of this emblematic series by Leonor Fini. A work of evanescent elegance, impregnated with mystery and melancholy, the narrowness of the train carriage here is a pretext for a dramatic scene, the carriage becomes the staging of a personal, deep and intimate theatre. The pallor of feminine complexion glows and is magnified by the subtle play of lace and veils which emphasize the sensuality of their bodies, haloing them in mystery and plunging the spectator into the dreamlike world of Leonor Fini.
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