Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity

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Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by
the Horns of Her Own Chastity
Dali Young Virgin Auto.jpg
ArtistSalvador Dalí
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions40.5 cm × 30.5 cm (15.95 in × 12 in)
LocationPrivate collection, Paris[1]

Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity is a 1954 painting by Salvador Dalí. During the 1950s, Dalí painted many of his subjects as composed of rhinoceros horns. Here, the young virgin's buttocks consist of two converging horns and two horns float beneath; "as the horns simultaneously comprise and threaten to sodomise the callipygian figure, she is effectively (auto) sodomised by her own constitution."[2]

Dalí's inspiration for the image appears to have come from Vermeer, one of a handful of artists regarded by Dalí as masters. Specifically, Vermeer's The Lacemaker seems to have been the galvanising element, with its convergent curves which focus on the subject's fingers and so to the penetration point of her needle - which as Dalí has pointed out is merely implied and not actually painted. In a stunt, Dalí set up his easel before Vermeer's original with the expressed intent of making a copy.[citation needed] The result however was this painting, which consciously uses Vermeer's focal-point arrangement, albeit to entirely different effect.

The painting, formerly in the collection of The Playboy Mansion (Playboy Enterprises sold the painting in London in 2003 for 1.35 million pounds[3]), recalls his depiction of his sister Ana María in Figure at a Window (1925), and has therefore been read by some critics as a nasty jab at his sister, punishing her for publishing a biography on Dalí that presented a quite negative point of view;[4] it has also been interpreted as a painting of Gala, though in fact the figure is based on a photograph from a 1930s sex magazine.[5]

In 1958, Dalí wrote, "Paradoxically, this painting, which has an erotic appearance, is the most chaste of all."[6]


  1. ^ Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity - WikiPaintings
  2. ^ King, Elliott in Dawn Adès (ed.), Dalí (Milan: Bompiani Arte, 2004), 378-379
  3. ^ Black-and-White Night - The New York Observer, 17 February 2003
  4. ^ Bradbury, Kirsten, Dalí(Essential Art) (Bath: Paragon Publishing, 2001), p. 30
  5. ^ Robert Descharnes, Dalí, L'héritage infernal (Paris: Éditions Ramsay/La Marge, 2002), 72.
  6. ^ Morse, A. Reynolds, Dalí: A Study of His Life and Work (Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1958), 81.

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