Casting the Runes
76.7 cm x 45.4 cm (30 3/16 in. x 17 7/8 in.)
(Clayton Green, England, 1917 - 2011, Mexico City)
Medium and Support:
Oil tempera with gold metallic paint on wood
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Judy S. and Charles W. Tate, 2016
Painter and writer Leonora Carrington settled in Mexico in 1943, joining a group of fellow surrealist émigrés. She drew inspiration from a wide variety of subjects, ranging from ancient history and Celtic mythology to Mexican healing traditions. Informed by these sources, her otherworldly paintings often have elusive meanings. In "Casting the Runes" a golden bird protects an egg under the gaze of strange beings. At bottom, two hooded female figures seem to engage in an ancient ritual involving runes, perhaps to divine the future of the golden creature in their care.