Desnudo en el agua (Nude in the Water)

Salvador Dalí

Figueras, Girona, Spain, 1904 - 1989
  • Date: 
    1924 (circa)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on cardboard
  • Dimensions: 
    50,5 x 47 cm
  • Category: 
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In “A psychoanalytical study on Salvador Dalí’s life of emotional annihilation”, from the publication Aperturas psicoanalíticas. Revista internacional de psicoanálisis, nº 17, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Ramón Riera meticulously studied Dalí’s relationship to Sigmund Freud, pinpointing how the painter began to study the writings of the father of psychoanalysis at the tender age of nineteen. Riera goes on to recount how Freud’s theories enabled Dalí to consider his “perversions” (his oral, anal, phallic and incestuous fantasies…) as a normal part of childhood sexuality, assuaging his possible feelings of guilt, and therefore neutralising the time of suffering at the core of such culpability. Within this same context, Riera also paraphrased Ricard Mas in Univers Dalí (Barcelona, Lunwerg Editores, 1993) when he wrote “the progressive eroticisation of the figure of his [Dalí’s] sister Anna Maria moves in two directions: on one side, the progressive interest in painting her from behind develops, with a significant eroticisation of the buttocks: Venus y cupido (Venus and Cupids) and Desnudo en el agua (Nude in the Water). Also note how the famous portrait of Anna Maria (1925), Figura mirando por la ventana (Figure at a Window), draws clear parallels with the 1954 painting Joven virgen autosodomizada por su propia castidad (Young Virgin Auto-sodomized by Her Own Chastity). And on the other, the figure of his sister can be discerned in provocative female bodies that feature in series such as Venus y marinero (Venus and Sailor) and Venus y marinero, homenaje a Salvat-Papasseit (Venus and Sailor. Homage to Salvat-Papasseit)”. Heeding to these assertions, Desnudo en el agua would represent the nude body of the painter’s sister; a representation patently imbued with erotic components, and in all likelihood captured on a summer’s day.

Paloma Esteban Leal