Collection 1880s–1940s

Leonora Carrington. Green Tea. 1942 561

Oil on canvas, 24 × 30" (61 × 76.2 cm). Gift of the Drue Heinz Trust (by exchange). © 2023 Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curator, Anne Umland: Leonora Carrington was a British-born painter and writer associated with the Surrealist movement. During World War II, she emigrated, first to New York and subsequently to Mexico.

Often in Carrington's work, there are many autobiographical references. The landscape in the background, meticulously detailed is often related to the countryside of England where she grew up.

The figure at left that is clad in this strange cowhide-like straitjacket, standing there with arms crossed, feet akimbo, face mask-like and white. This figure, is often identified with the artist herself. And in fact before Carrington painted this picture she was institutionalized in an asylum in Spain.

I think the most fun part of this picture is when you look down along the lower edge, and you begin to think of how interested the Surrealists were interested in things that lurk beneath the surface, right? Our hidden desires, our wildest nightmares, and Carrington has intimated all that by detailing this rather fantastic, monster-filled, bat-filled, cadaver-filled universe right beneath the edge of this bright sunny green scene above.