The use and significance of alchemy in the work of Remedios Varo and Leonor Fini

Grew, Rachael (2006) The use and significance of alchemy in the work of Remedios Varo and Leonor Fini. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 10391386.pdf] PDF
Download (14MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


The connections between alchemy and Surrealism are well known and well documented. However, the academic discussion of these two areas largely seems to marginalise the contributions of certain female artists. As female artists tied to an artistic movement by bonds of sex, love or marriage are sometimes regarded as being in the shadow of their partners, similarities in their works may be mistakenly attributed to mere imitation, by analysing the work of two relatively unknown female Surrealists, namely Leonor Fini and Remedios Varo, this thesis will demonstrate that, far from copying their male contemporaries, female artists use similar imagery to covertly assert their own identities and subvert male SiuTealist ideology. As the male SuiTealists moved towards an idealised image of 'Woman', and began to erase references to female powers of procreation, attributing such powers to men instead, female Surrealist artists sought to reclaim these powers. The alchemical iconography employed by Fini and Varo not only reasserts woman's creative abilities, but also depicts an exclusively female reproductive process, which contrasts directly to the exclusively male process portrayed by their male contemporaries. Ultimately, through an in-depth iconograpliical analysis of their works, this thesis will clearly demonstrate that Leonor Fini and Remedios Varo use alchemical imagery as a surrogate expression of specifically female procreation.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Prof. David Hopkins.
Keywords: Art history, Remedios Vero, Leonor Fini, alchemy.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-71746
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 16:20

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year