Loosely based off his other work Figure at a window (1925) which is a painting of his sister (Maria) brings a darker presence to Dali's artwork here.
Before beginning his masterpiece, Dali and Maria had a close relationship but that was broken up by a biography Maria wrote about Dali called 'Salvador Dali as Seen by his sister' where she would paint a picture that Dali was offended by and feeling betrayed he created Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized By Her Own Chastity.
The sexual theme is heavily present just like his other works but here the reason is purity gone sour. The betrayal of his sister is personified by a young woman breaking her chastity.
At the time it was a heinous act that people looked down on. However, the disloyalty of his sister was not his only inspiration as a sexual magazine caught his eye and his mind began the process of forming the oil painting.
His sexual representation of a woman had been in previous work such as Great Masturbator rock at Cullaró (1929) and became a staple of his overriding themes. The use of women can be attributed to his connection he had with his mother, a woman that was overprotective.
Dali began to cling to his mother and never had a connection with his father. It became clear that women played big parts in his life which transferred to his artwork with women becoming the focal point.
For Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized By Her Own Chastity has many meanings, anger and betrayal from his sister but also freedom of a woman's body, a bold statement during those times.
Rhino horns also play a key role and is often seen in other artworks but in this piece, the meaning is clear with rhinos only attacking when aggravated meaning Dali is the horns and is being aggravated by Marie or is it as it seems, a sexual act portrayed with animal parts.
Is Dali saying woman also have animal type instincts and should be let free? It was clear that Salvador Dali was eccentric in his ways and this was exerted to his artwork.
The oil painting is surreal bringing sexuality and betrayal together forming a piece that is easy to be disgusted at but can't stop being looked at.
Only Dali knew what he was saying and only he knew if it was a love letter or a scandal piece.
Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized By Her Own Chastity isn't his most provocative but it is his most intriguing and with a backstory that pulls the idea of what it meant in different directions, how can this piece not be revered? It tangles a mans struggle with his love and betrayal into a beautiful and provocative knot.
With Dali losing his mother, sister, and wife before him, this art piece becomes more than a mans revenge or fantasy.
It became a man giving the women in his life freedom and if he's represented as the horns it becomes an apology for his actions. An apology to his sister, an apology to his mother and an apology to his wife and that is beautiful in its own right.