Wilhelm Freddie's career began with an abstract period. Then, under Salvador Dali's influence, his painting became resolutely Surrealist, featuring erotic symbolism. In the 1930 Fall salon in Copenhagen, his painting entitled Liberté, égalité, fraternité, caused a stir. It was the first Surrealist work the Danish public had seen. In 1935, a Cubist-Surrealist exhibition was organized in Copenhagen, including work by painters active in France as well as in Sweden. In 1937, his exhibition in Copenhagen, Sex Surreal: Take the Fork out of the Butterfly's Eye, outraged the press. On the pretext that it was pornographic, the police closed the show and confiscated the work. The painter was sentenced to ten days in jail, and three of the pieces, two paintings and one object, were sent to the Kriminalmuseet. They were returned to the artist only in 1963, after a long battle. During the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Freddie continued to exhibit, clearly identifying himself a Surrealist. In 1944, the Danish police warned him of his imminent arrest by the Gestapo and helped him escape to Sweden. In 1947, he participated in the Exposition internationale du surréalisme at Galerie Maeght in Paris. At this time, he became friends with Victor Brauner, whose influence would be palpable in Freddie's work until about 1955. He later seemed to stray from Surrealism but always retained its fervent inspiration.