Femmes en flammes. By Salvador Dali, 1980


Gold patinated bronze sculpture, multiple edition of an original work by Salvador Dalì, created in 1980. On the base there are the artist’s signature, edition 137/350, publisher’s mark “© CAMBLEST 1981” and hallmark of the “VENTURI ARTE / LOST WAX / BOLOGNA” foundry.

Dimensions: 83 x 23 x 37cm


Historical-stylistic analysis:

The original sculpture was created by Salvador Dalì in 1980, with monumental dimensions, with its 7 meters in height. The subject depicted had already been tackled in the past by the Catalan artist, with the female figure in the foreground in the famous painting Giraffe in flames, from 1937. What Dalì himself will indicate as femme-coccyx, a faceless woman and therefore a representative of all women, with a skeletal and arched body, supported by crutches and which is distinguished by the drawers on the trunk and on the left leg.

Already the painting of ’37 and again the subsequent bronze sculpture represent the works of Dalì which are most influenced by the studies of Sigmund Freud; the father of psychoanalysis was in fact for the artist a real source of inspiration for his surrealist art. In his autobiography, Dalì himself states «I thank Sigmund Freud once again and I proclaim his great truths louder than ever. The only difference between immortal Greece and our present is Sigmund Freud, who discovered how the human body, which at the time of the Greeks was purely Neoplatonic, is today full of secret drawers, which only psychoanalysis is able to open».

So from this statement we understand the explanation of the semi-open drawers that riddle the female body, to represent the human unconscious with paranoia and uncertainties, to which one can only have access thanks to psychoanalysis. This hidden dimension of consciousness, marked by constant contradictions and enigmas to be solved, is further represented by the fire, which is generated from below and inexorably climbs up the back and towards the neck of the woman.

A further characteristic of the figure are the protuberances that extend towards the back, supported by crutches, called by Dalì “gruccia” or “diabolo”. For the artist, hangers are an important element, symbolic bearers of the double and contradictory concept of death and resurrection. “Ah, lovely crutch! Ah, maximum concentration of every austerity, of every solemnity!”, the crutch almost takes on the value of a magical object, which offers stability and security, so much so that he himself said that, the first time he saw one, “I immediately grabbed it , realizing that I would not have separated from it in my life, so violent was the fetishism, still inexplicable, that took possession of me”.

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