Display caption

Fini adored cats, and used the image of the Sphinx (a mythological hybrid of a lion and woman) partly as a self-portrait. She regarded the Sphinx as a symbolic intermediary between the human and animal realms, and between the conscious and the uncharted areas of the mind and spirit. In this painting, the Sphinx appears as a child-like, domesticated creature, sitting in front of its ramshackle home. The bird skull at its feet and the organ hanging in the doorway, however, hint at acts of violence.

September 2004