0315-William Tell and Gradiva (1931)

Oil on copper, 23,9 x 30,1 cm Private collection

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William Tell and Gradiva (1931)
Guillaume Tell et Gradiva

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0300-Gradiva finds the anthropomorphic ruins (1931)

Oil on canvas, 54 x 65 cm Fondazione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano

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Gradiva finds the anthropomorphic ruins (1931)
Gradiva retrouve les ruines anthropomorphiques

Analysis: “Gradiva Finds the Anthropomorphic ruins” was based on a German story, analyzed by Freud, of an archeologist who falls in love with Gradiva, a girl he sees in a Greek stone relief. He later finds his true love, who is the reincarnation of Gradiva. The Surrealists took this myth for their own. For them, Gradiva meant “she who advances”, a woman who would lead to self-discovery. To Dalí, Gradiva was Gala, the realization of his fictional past loves and his muse.
In “Gradiva Finds the Anthropomorphic Ruins“, Dalí plays with the story of Gradiva. Set against a flat, dark landscape, she is in the foreground with her arms wrapped around a human shape that is made from stone, (Anthropomorphis). Parts of the figure are cracked and there are holes where the face, heart and genitals should be, implying that this creature is without any of the parts that constitute a human. The form of Anthropomorphis is similar to that of a figure, which can be interpreted as Dalí, in the painting “Solitude” (1931). The figure has a Dalínian inkwell on his shoulder and as Gradiva appears as Gala, the implication here is that Dalí is Anthropomorphis.