From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Gradiva (Latin, "The woman who walks") is a neo-Attic Roman bas-relief in the manner of Greek works of the fourth century BCE, depicting a robed woman who lifts the hems of her skirts to stride forward. The relief is in the Vatican Museums. This sculpture was the basis for the 1903 novel Gradiva: A Pompeiian Fancy by German writer Wilhelm Jensen, which in turn became the basis for Sigmund Freud's famous 1907 study Delusion and Dream in Jensen's Gradiva.

Allusions/references from other works

Sigmund Freud famously analysed Hanhold's dreams ("Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens Gradiva", 1907), a unique example of his psychoanalysing a fictional character. Freud interpreted Hanhold's fetish as being a substitution for unresolved feelings for his childhood playmate, Zoe Bertgang.

Freud owned a copy of this relief, which can be found on the wall of his study (the room where he died) in 20 Maresfield Gardens, London—now the Freud Museum. The relief is believed to have been taken from an original held in the Vatican Museum (rather than Naples, where Jensen fictionally places it).

Salvador Dalí used the name Gradiva as a nickname for his wife, Gala Dalí. He used the figure of Gradiva in a number of his paintings, including Gradiva finds the ruins of Antropomorphos. The figure Gradiva was used in other Surrealist paintings as well. Gradiva (Metamorphosis of Gradiva), 1939, by Andre Masson explores the sexual iconography of the character.

In 1937 the Surrealist writer Andre Breton opened an art gallery on the Left Bank, 31 rue de Seine, christening it with the title: Gradiva. Marcel Duchamp designed it, giving its door the form of a double cast shadow.

Roland Barthes dedicated a chapter to Gradiva in his A Lover's Discourse: Fragments (1977).

Gradhiva (written on purpose with an "h") is an anthropological and museological journal, founded in 1986 by the surrealist poet and social scientist Michel Leiris and by the anthropologist Jean Jamin. Gradhiva is currently published by the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.

In 2006, the late (deceased 2008) French writer and moviemaker Alain Robbe-Grillet released a feature film entitled "C'est Gradiva Qui Vous Appelle", which was roughly based on the earlier Gradiva novel, although updated to modern times.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gradiva" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools