Unhappy Demons

The walls of one Manhattan gallery last week were hopping with demons. Feathery, hairy, horny, half-luminous creatures merged imperceptibly into birds, animals and plants. Painted with cobweb delicacy, they conspired and paraded before misty landscapes and night skies thick with floating islands. All the pictures had two things in common: an overall melancholy and the signature, Leonora Carrington, in one corner.

The beautiful, black-haired daughter of an Irish mother and a British millionaire, Leonora Carrington was born 31 years ago in Lancashire. Brought up in European convents and finishing schools, she dutifully learned ladylike deportment. But she painted in a very...

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