In her teens, Leonora Carrington began constructing her own mythological universe influenced by Celtic legends told by her Irish mother. After moving to Paris in 1936, Carrington honed this imagery and began exploring magical, alchemical, astrological, and cabalistic literature, channelling its essence into her early paintings and drawings. In 1942, after the outbreak of World War II, she moved to Mexico City and joined a famous community of women artists who had fled Europe. This is where her artistic language reached its dramatic maturity; drawing on local myths, it became crowded with monstrous female figures in thrall to spiritual forces. Portrait of the Late Mrs Partridge (1947) depicts a woman with a long neck and electrified hair, dressed in a crimson robe and caressing a large blue bird. Carrington portrays her like some hallowed medieval icon, even capable of shaping the stormy moods of her natural surroundings. In Portrait of Madame Dupin (1949), the titular figure clutches an even stranger creature to her chest: probably her child, it has a knobby, root-like body. This human-plant hybrid – like its insectile mother and most of the characters that populate Carrington’s paintings, drawings and stories – seems like an obvious product of the half-real, half-fancied world the artist believed in from childhood.