You are here:

The Dream

The Dream

1931

Salvador Dalí

(Spanish, 1904-1989)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 120 x 120 x 7.7 cm (47 1/4 x 47 1/4 x 3 1/16 in.); Unframed: 96 x 96 cm (37 13/16 x 37 13/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2001.34

Fun Fact

Dali and other Surrealist artists created images depicting strange juxtapositions that are sometimes referred to as "dreamscapes."

Description

The Dream gives visual form to the strange, often disturbing world of dreams and hallucinations. Ants cluster over the face of the central figure, obscuring the mouth, while the sealed, bulging eyelids suggest the sensory confusion and frustration of a dream. The man at the far left - with a bleeding face and amputated left foot - refers to the classical myth of Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. The column that grows from the man’s back and sprouts into a bust of a bearded man refers to the Freudian father, the punishing superego who suppresses the son’s sexual fantasies. In the distance, two men embrace, one holding a golden key or scepter symbolizing access to the unconscious. Behind them, a naked man reaches into a permeable red form, as if trying to enter it.

See also

Contact us

Request a digital file from image services

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.