Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Languages, Literatures and Cultures



First Advisor

Maria C. Mabrey


This thesis examines the dual role of women as muse and artist within the surrealist movement in Spain, with a specific focus on the life and work of Maruja Mallo. Using feminine theories of men's fear of women as creator of life and creator of art in their own right, I examine the cultural restrictions and attitudes, especially in the "machista" environment in Spain, that kept these women on the outside of the official movement as declared by André Breton. Specifically, I focus on the anti-feminine atmosphere in the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid when the Generation of 1927- Lorca, Dalí, Buñuel and Mallo- was at its pinnacle. In addition to examining the way in which Maruja's art subverts the masculine gaze yet still shows a surrealist influence, I also demonstrate how men's art from the beginning of surrealism in Paris in 1924 reveals a love/hate relationship with the female form. Finally, through highlighting the multi-faceted contributions and roles of Maruja Mallo throughout her life as artist, professor, orator, muse and writer, I hope not only to repair the neglect that her work has suffered until recently, but also to emphasize the fact that women did make important poetic and artistic contributions to surrealism that were, given the conservative and repressed time in which they lived, perhaps even more radical than their male counterparts.


© 2010, Ellory Winona Schmucker