Martini stands at the crossroads of Symbolism, Italian pittura metafisica and Surrealism. His work, like that of de Chirico, was “proto-Surrealist.” His grotesque, dramatic images demonstrate a visionary’s sensibility and a taste for macabre eroticism. In his studio in Paris, Martini entertained many well-known figures of the day. When Breton invited him to join the Surrealist group, Martini refused, preferring independence and solitude. And yet, he was friends with Picabia, Ernst, Magritte and Miró. He was the inventor of a “black style” characteristic of his original “teleplastic” and “psychoplastic” approach, executed with a deliberate absence of restraint and a creative intensity that he himself likened to hypnosis or clairvoyance. The hallucinatory power of this canvas is comparable to contemporary experiments by Surrealist photographers: it is almost an X-ray portrait. Its stamp of strangeness reveals the artist’s soul, his perception of the self— obsessed with erotic visions that fire the senses of sight and touch, expressing voyeuristic, even murderous, impulses.