In 1918, French poet Pierre Reverdy published an essay, The Image, in which he proposed a style of writing that would juxtapose “two more or less distant realities” connected by the imagination.
The resulting image would not simply copy the world. Inspired by Sigmund Freud, the writer André Breton extended Reverdy’s idea in manifestos published in 19 that encouraged artists to abandon rational control of their creativity.
Dreams and the unconscious would motivate a new, “surrealist”, expressive style that demonstrated “the actual functioning of thought”.
Dalí became the most famous exponent of these ideas in visual art.
According to Breton, Dalí had reduced Surrealism to popular entertainment.
It is undeniable that Dalí courted a mass market for his works.Nevertheless, Dalí’s admission of a “pathological” fascination with Hitler prompted Breton and other members of the Surrealist group to sever ties to their colleague.Dalí’s political failings were not the only reason for this falling out.Kathryn Brown does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.This comment made by Salvador Dalí is quoted in a new documentary about the artist.Dalí’s wife, Russian-born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova (known as Gala), was a crucial partner in her husband’s success.Contributing to recent scholarship that showcases the active role of women in Surrealism, an exhibition at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya reveals that Gala was more than a muse or model.A version of the work with a vivid scarlet upholstery was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2018.If Freud convinced bourgeois families that their lives were the stuff of Greek tragedy, Dalí suggested that world was fantastical because the individual psyche made it so.She produced works in her own right, negotiated with art dealers, edited Dalí’s writings, and contributed to her husband’s creative output with works co-signed “Gala-Salvador Dalí”.It has been suggested that Gala used tarot cards to predict Dalí’s future.