|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
Dali believed that Family of Marsupial Centaurs evinced his return to a Classical style, with a more precise technique and greater balance. He attributed the painting to Dr. Otto Rank,
a psychoanalyst who theorized that neurosis could be traced back to birth trauma. Believing that he had pre-birth memories, Dali was greatly interested in Dr. Rank's work.
The female centaurs have openings in their stomachs out of which human babies wait to be pulled free. In The Secret Life, Dali wrote that he envied the centaurs because "the children can come out of, and go back into, the maternal uterine paradise."
The seascape here is the same as the one seen in Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee (1944). It is based around Cadaques, so even though Dali was living in the US, he was painting the landscape of his homeland. The configuration of a horse's rear is a shape that Dali used in many paintings, often as a visual illusion. He saw a similarity of form between the horse's rear and a bunch of grapes, and to emphasize this he gives one centaur grapes to hold up.