Leonor Fini - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session New York Thursday, November 18, 2021 | Phillips
  • Carmel Snow, 1941.
    Carmel Snow, 1941.


    One of the most influential American figures of the 1940s, Carmel Snow left an indelible mark on the fashion and culture of her time. She exemplified the modern self-made woman: first establishing a career in dressmaking, she later became a fashion editor at Vogue before taking over at the helm of Harper’s Bazaar as editor-in-chief. Understanding the magazine as an opportunity for diverse artistic expression, she was widely admired for her discerning eye that elevated the then-struggling magazine to new heights and allowed her to effortlessly navigate the worlds of photography, art, and design. This unique vision also gifted her a natural ability to discover fresh talent, and she was credited with championing the careers of leading figures such as Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, Diana Vreeland, Christian Dior, and Alexey Brodovitch before they received due recognition.


    Snow’s taste in art was similarly daring and led her to the iconoclastic work of the Argentinian and Italian painter Leonor Fini. Most closely associated with Surrealism, though fiercely independent and rejective of all artistic labels, Fini’s portrayals of women pushed conventional aesthetic boundaries and rendered the modern woman through a liberated visual idiom. Her appeal to Snow was therefore unsurprising, and the editor-in-chief commissioned the artist to produce an original work for the cover of the June 1947 issue of Harper’s Bazaar in an effort to introduce the magazine’s audience to avant-garde art. Snow acquired the cover image, Girl with Shells, as well as another work on paper directly from artist, both of which have remained in the family collection until now, representing a true bond between artist and patron.

    • Provenance

      Carmel Snow, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
      Thence by descent to the present owner

Property from the Collection of Carmel Snow



signed "Leonor Fini" lower right
watercolor and ink on paper
19 3/4 x 10 1/4 in. (50.2 x 26 cm)
Executed circa 1946.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $16,380

Contact Specialist

John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session, New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session

New York Auction 18 November 2021