Remedios Varo

Alternative Name(s): Maria de los Remedios Alicia Rodriga Varo y Uranga in Angles
Date of Birth: December 16, 1908
Place of Birth: Angles, Girona in Spain
Date of Death: October 8, 1963
Focus: Painter
Art movement: Surrealism
Nationality: Spanish-Mexican

Famous Remedios Varo Artwork

Remedios Varo Biography

Remedios Varo’s style is easily recognizable. She worked with oil, and used fine brushstrokes on self-prepared masonite panels. Unsurprisingly, there is a noticeable architectural element to her work. As a child, Varo copied the blueprints that her father used for his work in construction, and he encouraged her technical drawing skills.

Her female figures are said to be autobiographical: They are androgynous, with large and extremely sad eyes in heart-shaped faces.

The recurring themes of isolation and confinement evident in her work might have been influenced by Varo’s own imprisonment in Paris at the time of the Nazi invasion during World War Two. It was an experience that she did not speak about.

Twice-married, Varo was a bigamist in that she never divorced her first husband. She and her second husband settled in Mexico in 1941, after living in Spain and France.

Like her friend in Mexico, the British expatriate painter Leonora Carrington, Varo was interested in the occult, magic and alchemy. This interest manifests itself in a number of her paintings, which have an eerie, haunted quality that appear rather ghostly.

Her major influences included Andre Breton, through whom she embraced surrealism. She was fascinated by Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych, entitled The Garden of Earthly Delights.