Before you is a painting by the surrealist Salvador Dali. It’s a weird job with an interesting history. She is somewhat biographical and, as critics suggest, personifies the author’s protest and revenge against his own sister, Anna Maria, in response to a book she wrote in 1949.
So, the background of the canvas goes back to the distant youth of Dali, when his sister was the artist’s only muse. Anna Maria was a model for a talented brother, leaving a mark in his creations. In the most unpredictable angles, poses and themes, the girl was present in the paintings of her older brother and mentor after the death of their mother.
One of them was the 1925 “Figure at the Window”. The artist was barely 21 years old, but the mysterious surrealism and recognizability of his technique were already present in the plot’s narration. A light, weightless palette, an open window, the heroine’s serene curiosity and the landscape of Spanish Cadaques are mixed in the composition.
The unique tandem of the master and his model existed until the moment of Dali’s revelation in the signature of one of his works addressed to his mother. “Sometimes I spit on a portrait of my own mother, and it gives me pleasure,” the author wrote, which aroused the anger and resentment of Anna Maria, forever breaking the invisible thread of connection and love with her younger sister. Marrying Gala finally built a wall of misunderstanding between the artist and his former muse. Jealousy covered the eyes of Maria Dali, which is reflected in the autobiographical work of 1949 “Salvador Dali through the eyes of a sister.”
An essay about the attitude towards some painters, which Salvador once wrote, the sister included in her memoirs. In the same place, she ridiculed Dali’s surrealism, his “mask” that grows to him, talent and quality of work. The reproach against his brother’s talent sowed a seed of resentment, which later became the reason for revenge.
The act of retaliation resulted in the creation of a vulgar picture, which supposedly depicts Anna Maria.
The canvas “Sodom’s Self-Satisfaction of an Innocent Maiden” is summarized by experts with the author’s early work dedicated to his sister. Here are some elements that are lost in the general mass of details, but, nevertheless, give out a certain similarity between the “Figure at the Window” of 1925 and the “Virgin” of 1954. This is the hair and the landscape of the port outside the window, the atmosphere of a piece of the interior taken out of the context of being, a calm scale. The debauchery that he did in Dali’s work is veiled.
Do not know how vulgar the author was and how daring in sexual fantasies, you can interpret the work as a hint of love for plaster and architecture. White horns resemble fragments of a certain construction made of plaster or ceramics.
The body being torn to pieces is El Salvador’s bold decision to hurt the young heroine. The metal of the railing, the fragmentation of the thighs, the incommensurability of foreign bodies penetrating into a fragile creature – everything screams about a woman’s penchant for lecherous games and irrepressible lust. Those lowered white stockings and patches on the heels, frayed espadrilles and tousled hair speak of the recent love game of a lonely, poor, unkempt woman. And now freedom from preludes, invented love, self-satisfaction, and a virgin body, a breast that has lost its elasticity and slender arms are given to languor and emptiness.
And tomorrow again the rumpled sheets … And if this is the image of a sister, then he hurts with his vulgarity.
Year of painting: 1954. Dimensions of the painting: 40.5 x 30.5 cm. Material: canvas. Writing technique: oil. Genre: symbolic painting. Style: surrealism. Gallery: Collection of Playboy magazine, Los Angeles, USA.