Dream Painting (Playing Cards and Lotus Blossoms)
Valentine Hugo, French, 1887 - 1968
Valentine Hugo’s involvement with Surrealism dates to roughly 1928–36, making her one of the first women artists affiliated with the movement. In that time, she illustrated a number of books of poetry and created portraits of André Breton (French, 1896 - 1966) and other Surrealists. This painting exemplifies her style, which is intimate and loaded with elusive imagery. The playing cards, hummingbird, and lotus blossoms, set amid what looks like a spinning nighttime sky, may recall a dream of Hugo’s. But they may also symbolize more generally the unexpected associations generated by the dreaming mind.