chapter  7
14 Pages

Becoming as Being: Leonora Carrington’s Writings and Paintings 1937–40

Femme et Oiseau (Figure 7.1), a painting by Leonora Carrington dating from c. 1937, presents the portrait of a creature, described in the title of this painting as a woman, whose image merges the contours of a horse’s head and neck with the facial features of a human being, androgyne 1 rather than specifically feminine. 2 The woman/horse’s head is framed by a window, seemingly cut into thick stone, on the inside sill of which a magpie is sitting. 3 The woman/horse is looking in from the outside, regarding the bird which appears to be simultaneously returning the woman/horse’s gaze and looking at a further creature, mandrake-like emerging out of the stone frame on the inside of the window.