Varo described this painting to her brother, Dr. Rodrigo Varo, saying:
This is the painting I did for Dr. Chavez. The person in the crystalloid cave is the doctor himself (I used his most distinctive features, but it was not my intention to paint an actual portrait). I dressed him in somewhat priestly garb to suggest that his profession is perhaps a kind of priesthood. He is holding a key in his hand. The persons approaching him from the gorge have a little door in place of the heart and the doctor winds them up as they pass by. These characters are very unreal, rather like puppets, and move by means of strings attached to wheels at their elbows, knees, and ankles and to the stars in the constellation of Cancer. According to ancient books of physiology (that is, according to the ones I consulted), this constellation governs illnesses and matters related to the heart.
Reed Enger, "Portrait of Dr. Ignacio Chávez," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 21, 2019; last modified March 21, 2019, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/remedios-varo/portrait-of-dr-ignacio-chavez/.