This is notable for the selfportrait of Dali in front of his easel, staring fixedly in an effort to summon up images from his unconscious to transfer straight on to the canvas. His
foreshortened hand, flung out at the spectator, is reminiscent of the 17th-century master Caravaggio
, one of the Italian masters whom Dali was
diligently studying in the late 1930s.
Typically Daliesque double images are crowded into the back of the picture, including his wife Gala with eyes in shadow that can be interpreted as part of an arcade, and an image of a
priest which also resembles a donkey's head. The African aspect of the work can be evaluated on the basis of Dali's statement that Africa counts for something in my work, since without
having been there I remember it so well!'