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Selfportrait with l’Humanité (1923)
Autoportrait à l’Humanité
Analysis: This “Selfportrait with L’Humanité” was painted while Dalí was at the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts. The title refers to a French Socialist newspaper “L’Humanité” to which Dalí subscribed. In the background to the right of Dalí is part of the word “L’Humanité”; Dalí cut out the title from the front page and pasted it on to the painting, giving a collage effect, to create contrasting textures and formats within the piece.
As with a lot of artists, Dalí did many selfportraits that were reflective of his life at the time of painting them. Here we see an almost featureless Dalí compared to the realistic portrait in the 1921 painting, “Selfportrait with the neck of Raphael“. Although this featureless depiction is reflective of the Cubist style of painting that Dalí was exploring, it may also be indicative of his feelings about himself, a young man trying to find his own identity. Dalí has included humanity here almost as a way of stating who he is through his reading materials, which were rather exclusive, rather than through his featureless self. Dalí has no mouth in this painting, an image that is repeated in many of his later paintings, personifying loss of control and subsequent fear.