In the early years of Dalí’s career, before he met his lifelong muse Gala, his favorite model was his sister Ana Maria. He produced numerous paintings and drawings of her in the 1920s at their seaside home in Cadaqués. It was also around this time, in 1923, that he began his exploration of the print medium. ‘I met up again with Núñez and developed a passion for engraving. My father even allowed me to set up a press in one of the rooms at home. I soon became familiar with all the techniques and, in addition, developed a few of my own’ (A. Perinaud, So wird man Dalí, Rastatt, 1973, p. 68). . This etching of a young woman’s head from 1924, Dalí’s earliest-known etching, is therefore most likely a portrait of his sister. It was previously documented solely by the auction of Paul Éluard’s collection at Berne on 13-14 May 1958 (Gutekunst & Klipstein, no. 435).
The relationship between Dalí and Ana Maria grew strained when he met Gala, ten years his senior and married to the surrealist poet Paul Éluard. She became his model, muse, wife and business manager, and both Ana Maria and their father detested her