Salvador Dalí

Étude pour Jour et nuit du corps

1936
crayon on paper
Inventory number 2011
Dalí’s drawing Étude pour Jour et nuit du corps is a study for the painting Night and Day Clothes of the Body made in the same year. The original artwork is painted in gouache.

The wearer’s costume contains pocket-like drawers in the front. When open, the drawers reveal a figure with a bare chest and genitals covered by pants. The true self is revealed through open drawers but hidden under the costume, conforming to society’s need for people to wear clothes. 

The figure could be considered masculine or feminine, a question to be informed by the viewer’s perception. Members of the Surrealism movement believed that the unconscious mind, when freed from everyday consciousness, allows us to perceive things beyond the obvious.