With Allied fortunes at their lowest ebb in 1941-1942, the American public could little afford to pay attention to the 30s-style antics of the unpredictable Spanish Surrealist who had taken refuge in their midst. Nevertheless, Dalí's reputation continued to grow after the scandalous events surrounding the Dream of Venus pavilion he designed for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. In November, 1941 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, opened a retrospective of Dalí's works. During this period he attracted numerous commissions, creating jewels for the Duke of Verdura and designing ads for Vogue magazine. The present work was commissioned by Louis E. Hellman, president of the Castleton China Co., as a design for a porcelain plate. The completed plate was exhibited at B. Altman and Co., New York, in November, 1942 and at the Racquet Club, Chicago, in 1943.
As if to escape the dreadful events which had overtaken the world, Dalí's imagery during this period is often resolutely classical and joyful.
Robert Descharnes has confirmed the authenticity of this watercolor.