Salvador Dalí, ‘Oysters & Nude (The Game of Oysters - Jacques Casanova), 1967’, 1967, Martin Lawrence Galleries

*This is the original watercolor that inspired the Casanova Suite’s
“Plate J – Oysters & Nude” (Field Catalog #67-4, pg. 32).

We amused ourselves eating oysters, exchanging them when we already had them in our mouths….there is no more lascivious and voluptuous game between two lovers….What a sauce that is which dresses an oyster I suck from the mouth of the woman I love! It is her saliva. The power of love cannot but increase when I crush it (The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova).

Oysters have long acquired the reputation of being an aphrodisiac. The word aphrodisiac was derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty who was born from the sea’s foam and floated ashore on a giant shell. The second-century Greek physician and philosopher Galen recommended eating oysters to cure declining sexual desire. Cleopatra, renowned for her power over great men, provided large quantities of oysters to Marc Anthony. Numerous stories about oysters surround the legendary Venetian seducer Jacques Casanova. Before initiating an ardent adventure, he reportedly ate 50 oysters.
We amused ourselves eating oysters, exchanging them when we already had them in our mouths….there is no more lascivious and voluptuous game between two lovers….What a sauce that is which dresses an oyster I suck from the mouth of the woman I love! It is her saliva. The power of love cannot but increase when I crush it (The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, Volume 4, pg. 21).

Signature: Signed By the Artist

Image rights: Martin Lawrence Galleries

About Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí was a leading proponent of Surrealism, the 20-century avant-garde movement that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious through strange, dream-like imagery. “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision,” he said. Dalí is specially credited with the innovation of “paranoia-criticism,” a philosophy of art making he defined as “irrational understanding based on the interpretive-critical association of delirious phenomena.” In addition to meticulously painting fantastic compositions, such as The Accommodations of Desire (1929) and the melting clocks in his famed The Persistence of Memory (1931), Dalí was a prolific writer and early filmmaker, and cultivated an eccentric public persona with his flamboyant mustache, pet ocelot, and outlandish behavior and quips. “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure,” he once said. “That of being Salvador Dalí.”

Spanish, 1904-1989, Figueres, Spain