Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
Property Formerly in a European Museum
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)


Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
signed and dated ‘Salvador Dalí 1941’ (lower right)
gouache, pen, brush and India ink and pencil on magazine cover
17 5/8 x 11 7/8 in. (44.9 x 30.1 cm.)
Executed in 1941
Dalzell Hatfield Galleries, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Allen, New York; sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., New York, 18 October 1973, lot 48.
Private collection, United States; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 14 November 1990, lot 157.
Galerie Hopkins-Thomas, Paris (2006).
Scheringa Museum of Realist Art, Spanbroek (acquired from the above); stolen from the Scheringa Museum of Realist Art, 1 May 2009; recovered and returned to the insurance company in July 2016.
E. Ansenk, Schilders van een Andere Werkelijkheid in de Collectie van het Scheringa Museum voor Realisme, Zwolle, 2006, pp. 19-20 (illustrated in color, p. 19).


Nicolas Descharnes has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Dalí painted this enigmatic, eerily poetic gouache in 1941, while he was writing the semi-autobiographical Vie secrète de Salvador Dalí, a flamboyant surrealist amalgam of historical anecdote, childhood memory, and dream narrative. He created the image by partially painting over the cover of an old issue of Pour Vous, a weekly film magazine that had folded the previous year when German forces occupied France. The nose, mouth, and chin of the actress in the cover photograph, Betty Stockfeld, have been subtly altered with ink to become the figure of a woman seated on a beach, viewed from the rear with a shawl over her shoulders. She inclines her head downward to the right, where a young boy with a toy hoop kneels at her side. The eyes and brow of the actress serve as the silhouette of a distant hillside, the upper lashes transformed into a row of diminutive poplars and the lower lashes into the furrows of a plowed field.
The double image, by destabilizing the supposed veracity of external appearances, was central to Dalí’s “paranoiac-critical” method, which induced the viewer to read meanings under meanings by a sequence of highly subjective associations. Dalí inscribed this process within the context of the surrealists’ persistent denunciation of reality. “I believe the moment is at hand,” he wrote in 1930, “when by a paranoiac and active thought process it will be possible (simultaneously with automatism and other passive states) to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discredit of the real world” (quoted in Dalí’s Optical Illusions, exh. cat., Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 2000, p. 26).
In the present gouache, Dalí used the device of the double image to capture the experience of memory, evoking the irrational resurgence of long-forgotten childhood incidents and sensations. The setting is the beach at Cadaqués, where his family spent summers; the boy with a hoop is young Dalí himself, and the seated woman is his beloved nursemaid Llucia, “immense in a pope...with the whitest hair and most delicate and wrinkled skin I have ever seen,” he recalled (trans. H. Chevalier, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, New York, 1993, p. 67). Both figures appear repeatedly in the artist’s spare, melancholy beach scenes of 1934-1936, but they take on new significance here—seemingly conjured forth from the oneiric text of La vie secrète, in the midst of the artist’s wartime exile in the United States.
This image also evokes a highly charged boyhood episode from La vie secrète—a false memory, encapsulating Dalí’s innermost anxieties and fantasies—in which the artist encountered the object of his erotic desires, a girl called Galuchka, at a military parade. “Seized with an insurmountable shame, I immediately hid behind the plump back of a big nurse sitting monumentally on the ground, whose corpulence offered me refuge from Galuchka’s unendurable glance,” he wrote. “I felt myself stunned and dumbfounded by the shock of the unforeseen encounter, a shock which the lyrical impact of the music amplified to a state of paroxysm. Everything seemed to melt and vanish around me and I had to lean my little head against the nurse’s broad insensitive back, a parapet of my desire” (ibid., p. 51).
“Each time I stole a furtive glance at Galuchka,” Dalí continued, “to assure myself with delight of the persistence of her presence I encountered her intense eyes peering at me. I would immediately hide; but more and more, at each new contact with her penetrating glance, it seemed to me that the latter, with the miracle of its expressive force, actually pierced through the nurse’s back, which from moment to moment was losing its corporeality, leaving me more and more in the open and gradually and irremissibly exposing me to the devouring activity of that adored though mortally anguishing glance” (ibid., p. 52). In the present gouache, the features of the screen siren represent both the object of the artist’s powerful desires (the eyes) and a bulwark against them (the nurse), staging the conflict between maternal attachment and sexual development that constitutes the principal Freudian drama of adolescence.
Dalí first explored this double image in a 1939 study that also takes the Pour Vous cover—dated 11 October of that year—as its starting point (Descharnes and Néret, no. 767; Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueras). The next year, he used the motif as the central vignette in an oil painting entitled Les trois âges (La vieillesse, l’adolescence, l’enfance), where it is flanked by the representation of a bearded man whose features—recognizable as those of Richard Wagner, the composer who was beloved by Dalí—are formed from a rocky outcrop and by a smaller, inchoate face that emerges from the figure of a woman mending a fishing net (no. 744; Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida). “As these images come in and out of focus through the push and pull of foreground and background elements,” Robert Lubar has written, “Dalí in effect stages the temporal experience of subjectivity: the persistence of memory” (The Dalí Museum Collection, St. Petersburg, 2012, p. 170).
In 1941, as he was finishing the text of La vie secrète, Dalí used two additional copies of the Pour Vous cover to create a pair of closely related gouaches, which together constitute the culminating statement in this haunting sequence of works. One is the present painting, in which Dalí emphasized the evocative, seemingly infinite expanse of beach and sky. In the other, an arched portal frames the central motif and casts a heavy shadow across the foreground, distancing the scene from the viewer in space as in time (Descharnes and Néret, no. 768). Dalí reproduced the latter work in La vie secrète with the caption “Bouche mystérieuse apparaissant dans le dos de ma nourrice” (Mysterious mouth appearing in the back of my nurse).

更多来自 印象派及现代艺术(晚间拍卖)