Remedios Varo (1908-1963, Spanish)

Remedios Varo with CatRemedios Varo (1908-1963, Spanish) was a surrealist painter whose works portray her main motifs as mysticism and alchemy. Her father, a hydraulic engineer, played a major role in her education and initial introduction to art. Even though her mother was a devout Catholic, naming Varo after the patron saint of angels, Remedios, Varo, like her father, renounced religion. At age 15 Varo studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, but did not complete her first work until 23.

When the Spanish Civil War broke out, she fled to Paris where she became influenced by the surrealist movement.  The works of artists such as Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco Goya played a large role in forming her style.

Ironically, even though not religious, her paintings address religious themes of mysticism, alchemy, and the idea that everything is interrelated. An example of her interrelationships of animals and nature is the painting Fern Cat where the cat is depicted as plant like. Being a cat lover, Varo used cats in many of her paintings as feminine symbols.

Remedios Varo and her Cat

Varo demonstrates great technical skill and an insight into human nature. Even though most surrealist paintings of the time denigrated women, Varo celebrated them. Varo’s repeated motifs of cages and towers and women in confined spaces are indicative of women’s isolation and a commentary on the patriarchal hierarchy.

Remedios Varo with cat 2

In 1941, with the invasion of Paris by the Germans, Varo fled to Mexico where she lived until her death in 1963 of a heart attack.

Be sure to look closely to see the cat(s).


Remedios Varo, The Fern Cat

The Fern Cat



Remedios Varo, Detail, The Fern Cat

Detail, The Fern Cat


Cat Lady Remedios Varo (1908-1963, Spain)

Cat Lady



Remedios Varo, Cat Man, 1943

Cat Man, 1943




Cats Paradise - Remedios Varo 1955

Cats Paradise, 1955



Cosmic Energy, Remedios Varo

Cosmic Energy



La Tejedora Roja, 1956 Remedios Varo

La Tejedora Roja, 1956



Mimetismo, Remedios Varo




Remedios Varo The Cats Pituso and Zorrillo

The Cats Pituso and Zorrillo



Remedios Varo, Cat



Revelation, 1955, Remedios Varo

Revelation, 1955



Simpatia, Locura del Gato, Remedios Varo (1955)

Simpatia, Locura del Gato, 1955



The Tramp Puzzle, Remedios Varo

The Tramp Puzzle



Visita Inesperada, Remedios Varo

Visita Inesperada



Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019 Laura Vocelle


  1. Remedios Varo is one of my favorite artists, so is Lenora Carrington, and you’ve included a picture of Carrington in this article about Varo – only right, as they were great friends and great cat lovers – and great artists!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: