Leonora Carrington. Revelation

FEB.11.2023          MAY.07.2023

Arts, 110, 1944

Leonora Carrington
Arts, 110, 1944
Collection of Stanley and Pearl Goodman NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, USA
© Estate of Leonora Carrington / VEGAP, Madrid, 2023

Home > Art and Culture > Exhibitions > Recoletos Exhibition Hall > Leonora Carrington. Revelation



FEB.11.2023        MAY.07.2023


Recoletos Exhibition Hall
Paseo Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid

Tel: 915 81 61 00


Opening hours:
Mondays (except holidays): 2 pm – 8 pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday and holidays: 11 am – 7 pm

December 25th, January 1st and 6th

Limited opening hours:
December 24th and 31th, January 5th: 11 am – 3 pm

*The evacuation of the hall starts 10 minutes before closing time. Last access (7:30 pm or 6:30 pm) only allows a 20 minutes tour to the exhibitions.

How to arrive

Buses: 5 – 14 – 27 – 37 – 45 – 53 – 150

Subway: Line 4 (Colón), line 2 (Banco de España) and line 5 (Chueca)

Trains: C-2, C-7, C-8 and C-10


Available online in Spanish and English. Accessible via mobile without downloads or installations.

Also available in audio device obtainable in the hall (if available).

Price: €4


Ramp for wheelchair access – The three floors of the hall are accessed by a generously-sized elevator.


Locker Service.


LAIE Tel. 911 703 851 fmapfre@laie.es

A painter, sculptor and writer, among numerous other activities, Leonora Carrington (Clayton-Le-Woods, Lancashire, 1917 – Mexico City, 2011) was one of the most significant women artists associated with the Surrealists. Although her career was always marked by her turbulent life story which made her an eccentric and tragic figure, her work should not solely be interpreted as the manifestation of an unstable mind. Quite the contrary; Carrington’s output is in fact the expression of a remarkable imagination which created an aesthetic, symbolic and conceptual universe, albeit one not always easy to decipher.

A versatile artist constantly engaged in a quest for new forms of expression, Carrington’s paintings, drawings, stories, writings, tapestries or sculptures refer to aspects of human beings (fear, pain, joy, alienation and happiness) in a direct manner which reaches out to us and obliges us to confront our own truths and uncertainties.

The exhibition aims to pay tribute to this unique artist and to disseminate the richness and complexity of a body of work that is well known in the United States and Mexico but which has only received greater recognition in Europe in the last few years. While Carrington had a notable influence on various artists of Spanish origin, her work has barely been exhibited in Spain until now.

Curators: Tere Arcq, Carlos Martín

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Leonora Carrington. Revelation

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PLUS Ticket

  • TICKET and AUDIO GUIDE for Leonora Carrington. Revelation and Facundo de Zuviría. The audio guide is accessible online, from your Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Prices: PLUS General Admission: €9. PLUS Reduced Admission: €7.
  • Does not incluye headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.

Guided Tour (in spanish)

  • In a tour of approximately one hour, our cultural mediators comment on the main works of the exhibition, sharing with the participants aesthetic and historical keys to deepen and enrich the exciting experience of contact with the works of art that every visit to a museum provides.
  • Price: 7€. The ticket also allows to visit Facundo de Zuviría.
  • Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays: 12:30 am and 5.30 pm; Sundays: 5.30 pm. Each group will be made up of a maximum of 14 visitors.
  • The visit is carried out in spanish with an audio-guided system. No translation into english is offered. Disposable headphones are provided, but for sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.

Individual Ticket

  • Allows to visit Leonora Carrington. Revelation and Facundo de Zuviría.
  • General admission: €5.
  • Reduced admission: €3 (Beneficiaries of reduced admission).
  • Free Access (0€): Mondays (except holidays), from 2 pm to 8 pm.

The beneficiaries of free admission must obtain their ticket at the ticket office in the room.

(In the case of free access due to disability / reduced mobility, you can request a ticket reservation in advance by e-mail: cultura@fundacionmapfre.org).

MAPFRE Clients

  • MAPFRE offers to its policyholders 2 free tickets (4 if Platinum Client) to visit Leonora Carrington. Revelation and Facundo de Zuviría on the date they choose.
  • To obtain courtesy tickets of MAPFRE, access the online ticket office and follow the purchase process. Before payment, the program will request your ID and will automatically activate the free tickets that correspond to you.
  • You can also get them at the ticket office in the room, presenting your ID.
  • Invitations must be used in a single visit.
  • Any question you have, please check these simple instructions.

Collaborating Entities

  • If you belong to any of the entities that collaborate with Fundación MAPFRE, you must obtain your reduced ticket (€ 1) at the ticket office in the room.


  • If you have already purchased a individual ticket and want to add the audio guide, you can purchase it here. Price: 4 €
  • The audio guide is accessible online, from your Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Does not incluye headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.


Group Visit

  • It's mandatory for the Group Visit to have a guide or person in charge. To request a guide from the Foundation, ask please for information and rates to: cultura@fundacionmafpre.org
  • The group must be made up of a minimum of 6 pax. a maximum of 15 pax (guide included).
  • The use of an audio-guiding system is mandatory for the visit. If the group does not have its own, you must add it (€1/pax) during the online purchase process.
  • Schedule: Mondays: 3 pm, 4 pm. From Tuesdays to Fridays: 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm.
  • Maximum duration of the visit: 60 min.
  • The formalization of the booking implies the acceptance of the Rules for the visit, especially those indicated for "Group Tour".



Educational activities for schools are developed entirely in Spanish. If you are interested please consult section Colegios y Familias.


Educational activities for families are developed entirely in Spanish. If you are interested please consult section Colegios y Familias.


  • Tickets changes or returns are not allowed except for justified force majeure.
  • The purchase of tickets presupposes the acceptance of the Rules for the visit. We recommend reading it before entering the room.
  • Fundación MAPFRE is not responsible for the rates, schedules and other information applied on the websites of other entities where tickets for their exhibitions can be purchased.
  • If the online ticket purchasing process is cancelled, suspended or cut off, please contact our support telephone numbers: +34 915 816 100 (attention exclusively during the opening hours of the exhibition hall).

Leonora Carrington. Revelation is structured into ten sections in which a chronological account is combined with the presentation of the most important themes in the work of this unique artist: from her training and early influences in England and Florence to her contact with the Surrealists in Paris, her time in Saint-Martin-d’Ardèche, the traumatic experience in Spain, emigration to New York, and Mexico as her new homeland.

For the realisation of this project Fundación MAPFRE has benefited from the support of more than 60 lenders, including leading institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, the Museo de Arte Moderno and the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Tate Modern, UK, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Alongside them, loans from prestigious private collections have also contributed to the success of this project.

The exhibition is organised by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

Escape to Spain: Following Max Ernst’s arrest and Carrington’s escape from the war in Europe, in 1940 she reached Andorra where she had a nervous breakdown and that August entered a psychiatric clinic in Santander. On the last day of the year she went to Madrid. There she visited the Museo del Prado where she reaffirmed her love of Florentine painting and also looked at the work of Bosch, Bruegel and Patinir, all of which enormously impressed her and would be decisive for her subsequent output. Her small canvases frequently include hybrid creatures that recall those in Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, as well as backgrounds of strange landscapes filled with elements seemingly taken from dreams.

Carrington the writer: From a very young age Leonora Carrington was extremely interested in stories and this undoubtedly intensified after she met Max Ernst who, like all the Surrealists, was fascinated by Lewis Carroll and the brothers Grimm. The world of Carroll’s Alice allowed Carrington to focus on themes that particularly interested her: alchemy, the Kabbalah, ancestral myths and spatio-temporal dislocation, all elements present in her artistic output. It is said that she dictated her first story to her mother as she was too young to have learned to write properly. From then on Carrington never abandoned this activity and many of her paintings are paralleled in her writings, even sharing the same titles. Almost all of them are autobiographical, notably her account of the time she spent in Dr Morales’ psychiatric clinic in Santander, which she included in Down Below. Most of these stories feature hybrid creatures, fairies and powerful witches, speaking animals and humans that turn into animals, while fantasy becomes reality in “The Debutante”, “The Oval Lady” and in the novel The Hearing Trumpet, as well as in her plays Penelope and Opus Siniestrus.

Self-portraits/The alter egos: In her works Carrington frequently portrayed herself through other characters and animals that stand in for the artist herself. Her alter egos (“other selves”) generally take the form of hyenas, trees or horses, of which the latter are undoubtedly the most frequent, but we also encounter goddesses, including the White Goddess, and spinners and weavers who are sometimes represented by spinning wheels. The wheel and the spinners are thus allusions to goddesses and to female power. Spinning is associated with the female gender and with wise women, witches etc., and for many years Carrington herself produced tapestries in collaboration with the Rosales family of Mexican weavers.

Carrington the feminist: In the 1960s Leonora Carrington became increasingly interested in the feminist movements that were emerging with force in the United States, which she frequently visited. Although never an active member, her house in Mexico became a meeting place for a small group of women concerned for the inequalities in women’s lives and their lack of rights. The painting Mujeres conciencia [Women’s awareness] (1972) was used for the poster of that title as an expression of “indignation and anger regarding the situation of women”, as Carrington herself said in an interview. In this gouache she subverts the myth of Adam and Eve, making the latter a goddess. Carrington’s desire to convey to women the message of rediscovering and recovering their powers is a recurrent one throughout her literary and pictorial oeuvre.

Carrington’s encounter with Robert Graves’s text “The White Goddess” stimulated her feminist consciousness. “Most of us, I hope, are now aware that a woman should not have to demand Rights. The Rights were there from the beginning; they must be Taken Back Again, including the Mysteries which were ours and which were violated, stolen or destroyed,” in her own words.

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