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The dream approaches (1932)
Le rêve approche
Analysis: “The Dream Approaches” has the haunting atmosphere of a dream, aided by a luminescent pre-dawn sky. In the foreground of the painting is a potentially coffin-shaped form, over which white material is draped. On the right side of this block is a large cocoon shape, its opening suggesting the female genitalia. Standing on the sandy beach is a naked man, classical in form as well as stance, with one hand raised and his hips tilted. The brushwork on his body creates the illusion that dark flames are swirling along his back.
On the right, next to two trees that are still half in darkness, is a tall tower with one solitary window at the top. The tower seems like a ruin as the plaster is falling away and there are cracks along it. Amongst other paintings, this tower can also be seen in “The Horseman of Death” (1934). Towers appear in Dalí’s work as a symbol of desire and death. In his autobiographical writings, Dalí explained this as owing to his childhood memories of a mill tower, where he had felt both sexual and violent urges toward a girl.