THE MAKING OF “IN VOLUPTAS MORS”
WARNING: The following post contains artistic nudity. Although this isn’t pornagraphic in nature, please use caution if you are offended by naked bodies.
If you have interest in death related art, you’ve at least seen the final product of Salvador Dalí’s work floating around your studies and searches. You may also have some understanding of the meaning behind this particular piece. “In Voluptas Mors” depicts the fusion of eros (erotic or sexual love) and thanatos (death). In Greek mythology, “Voluptas” is the daughter of Eros and Psyche and the goddess of “sensual pleasure”. “Mors” was the Roman god of Death (the equivalent of the Greek “Thanatos”). The final image that you will see below presents a fusion of eros (erotic or sexual love) and thanatos (death) in a single object (therefore, in voluptas mors — quite literally one finds “death in the voluptuous”).
The relationship between Eros and Thanatos has been a topic of conversation for Freud, Becker and eco-feminists such as Beverly Clack (author of “Sex and Death”). While interpretations of Eros and Thanatos different, they present two of the most fundamental and stigmatized facets of humanity. Eros and Thanatos are — in a word — scandalous, much like Dali’s work presented below.
If you feel disturbed by the “In Voluptas Mors”, well … that’s part of Dali’s intention. While it’s slightly scandalous now, you can imagine the how it may have been interpreted when it was created in 1951.