The unicorn is a mythical creature prominent in legends as an intricately linked symbol of purity. The horn of a unicorn is believed capable of neutralizing any poison. This animal also has connotations of chastity and virginity, both male and female, and was adopted as the sign or ideal representation of the "perfect" knight. In some legends it was also a symbol of virility. Dalí chose to portray the unicorn as a phallic figure whose horn penetrates a stone wall through a heart-shaped opening, from which a drop of blood seems to be slowly falling. The nude, reposing female stretched out in the foreground at the hooves of the animal underlines the sensual nature of this sculpture.