When this work was first exhibited in Spain, it brought the 19-year-old artist considerable fame and was recognized as being comparable to Picasso’s Portrait of Gertrude Stein,1906, or his equally great Woman in White, 1923. Dalí completed the first version of Portrait of My Sister in 1923, and originally represented his sister, Anna Maria, seated in an armchair with her hands crossed in her lap; a small table with books on top occupied the lower right-hand corner. Approximately four years later, Dalí returned to this celebrated canvas and transformed it by adding the second upside-down figure, which radically contrasts with the first and makes the finished painting a double portrait. While there is no documentation that details why Dalí transformed this work so thoroughly, it is believed to be either a reflection of Picasso’s profound influence after their first meeting in 1926, or as a symbol of developing tension between the artist and his sister.
1965, New York, Gallery of Modern Art, “Salvador Dalí, 1910-1965”
1995, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dali Museum, “The Young Dali: Works from 1914-1930”
2006, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, “Barcelona & Modernity: Picasso, Gaudi, Miro, Dalí (1868-1939)”
2007, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Barcelona & Modernity: Picasso, Gaudi, Miro, Dalí (1868-1939)”
2014, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dali Museum, "PicassoDalí Dalí/Picasso"
2015, Barcelona, Musee Picasso, "PicassoDalí Dalí/Picasso"