'The Great Masturbator'

'The Great Masturbator'
Salvador Dalí, Paris, 1934

The Great Masturbator (1929) below was a gift by Salvador Dalí to the Spanish State, and it must have appealed to his sense of humor that the painting would go on display in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. At bottom (no puns intended) is Dalí pushing the limits of the boundaries between art and pornography with Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity (1954).

Dali's The Great Masturbator
Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized

As the art critics see it, Dalí had four major artistic themes throughout his life: masturbating, his wife Gala, enigmas, and melted clocks ( to which I would add a fifth, crucifixion). They argue that his fear of impotence resulted in masturbation being the main sexual activity of his adult life and they see a strong correlation between his paintings and Freudian symbolism. Personally I think that theory is nonsense, but if he was both attracted to and horrified by sex, then he certainly knew how to put on a good show. Oh and then there were the eggs...

Dalí was buried in his home town of Figueres, Catalunya, in 1989. These days he is memorialized in the Dalí Theatre and Museum in the city (the Teatre-Museu Dalí website is here) - shown above with its characteristic eggs.

He lived most of his life not in Figueres but in Port Lligat (or Portlligat), at the easternmost part of the Spanish mainland. His house, shown below, is now a museum: Casa-museu de Salvador Dalí a Portlligat, their website here.

Photo: CGE

Here are links to other Dalís on this site: