Dali painted portraits almost throughout his creative career, beginning in his early years with members of his family and quickly moving to models willing to pay for it, as soon as he realized what requirements are imposed on his work. Other surrealists criticized him for choosing customers who are willing to pay for it. They looked at similar work as a reduction in creative standards, believing that artists should only portray what inspires them, regardless of the tradition of portraiture.
As was often the case in Dali’s work, the model is depicted against a background of a deserted Catalan landscape
Madame Reese is illuminated by the sun’s rays, which fall from dense clouds. She wears evening dress and pearls, which means that she belongs to the financial elite of the society, whose representatives Dali often wrote.