Sandra Carroll – Dali – Psychoanalysis Visualised

THE LETTER 05 (Autumn 1995) pages 108-128

The only meeting between Salvador Dali and Sigmund Freud was organised by Stefan Zweig in London in 1938. When Dali visited Freud in London he showed him the painting Metamorphosis of Narcissus and was purportedly told:

It is not the unconscious I seek in your pictures, but the conscious. While in the pictures of the masters…that which interests me…seems mysterious…to me, is precisely the search for unconscious ideas, of an enigmatic order, hidden in the picture, your mystery is manifested outright. The picture is but a mechanism to reveal it.

Afterwards, Freud wrote to Zweig:

I have been inclined to regard the Surrealists as complete fools, but that young Spaniard with his candid, fanatical eyes and his undeniable technical mastery, has changed my estimate.

Dali’s comment on the meeting was that Freud’s cranium resembled a snail. Freud’s interest in the creative artist is evident throughout his published works: …

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