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Dream Painting (Playing Cards and Lotus Blossoms)
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Dream Painting (Playing Cards and Lotus Blossoms)

Valentine Hugo, French, 1887 - 1968

Made in France, Europe


Oil on wood panel

10 1/2 x 9 inches (26.7 x 22.9 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Edward and Althea Budd Fund, 2009

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dreaming [x]   flowers [x]   surrealism [x]  

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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.