In her youth, Leonora Carrington (1917 – 2011) was a runaway English debutante and a fledgling Surrealist in prewar Paris. In her old age she was a mainstay of Mexican art. The Image of Dreams is the story of Carrington’s journey between those worlds: her flight from English high society, her idyllic amour fou with Max Ernst before the outbreak of war, the abyss of madness and institutionalisation, her arrival on the New York scene and, finally, her settling in Mexico. Giulia Ingarao charts Carrington’s evolution as an artist, from imaginative early constructions to the fantastical mythography of her adulthood. Invigorated by Mexican culture, she created original and rarefied creations that fused her profound knowledge of the Italian Renaissance with the hybrid figures of Surrealism and the language of esotericism and alchemy. This perceptive and engrossing study situates Carrington’s artistic and personal journey within the wider canvas of twentieth-century history. Her works are analysed against their various cultural and contextual backdrops, a reading enriched by the input of the Artist herself, whom Ingarao consulted over many encounters during the last years of her life.

Giulia Ingarao is a specialist in Mexican Surrealism. She has been professor of Art History at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Palermo since 2009 and conducted her postgraduate research at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her research principally concerns Surrealism, Gender Studies and postwar Italian art. She has authored numerous publications on Leonora Carrington in Italian, Spanish and English, including Leonora Carrington un viaggio nel Novecento (Milan: Mimesis 2014, 2nd edn 2022), the definitive Italian monographic study on the Artist.