Introduction of Dalí’s Significant Works (1)


Introduction of Dalí’s Significant Works (1)

Title     :Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee

Year      :1944

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :51(H) x 40.5(W) cm

Collection:Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain


In this “hand-painted dream photograph” — as Dalí generally called his paintings — we find a seascape of distant horizons and calm waters, perhaps Port Lligat, amidst which Gala is the subject of the scene. Next to the naked body of the sleeping woman, which levitates above a flat rock that floats above the sea, Dalí depicts two suspended droplets of water and a pomegranate, a Christian symbol of fertility and resurrection.vAbove the pomegranate flies a bee, an insect that traditionally symbolizes the Virgin.

In the upper left of the painting a fish bursts out of the pomegranate, and in turn spews out a tiger who then spews out another tiger and a rifle with a bayonet that will sting Gala in the arm. Above them an elephant with long flamingo legs, found in other compositions of the period such as Dalí's The Temptations of St. Anthony, carries on its back an obelisk — like Bernini’s Elephant and Obelisk in the Piazza Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.

It has been suggested that the painting is "a surrealist interpretation of the Theory of Evolution.


Title     :The Persistence of Memory

Year      :1931

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :24.1(H) x 33(W) cm

Collection:Private Collection


The setting for this painting is a rather bleak landscape. We see a sandy beach in the foreground and middle ground that appears dark, like it's in shadow. The beach stretches toward the background, where it eventually reaches a body of still water, probably a lake or ocean. This body of water meets the horizon line. The sky above the horizon is featureless, with no clouds, sun, birds, or anything. On the painting's upper-right side, there are jagged, rocky cliffs extending down into the water. In the left foreground, there is a large rectangular form, like a solid box, serving as a table. In the middle ground, directly in front of us, there is a strange organic form, which at first glance appears to be an animal lying on its side. Then we realize the form doesn't look like anything we've ever seen before. Four pocket watches are placed in this strange scene, three of them appearing to melt into soft, malleable shapes.


Each object in The Persistence of Memory is painted with exactitude and is very recognizable. But this scene would not be found in real life. As in a dream, these strange combinations of elements have the power to evoke feelings and psychological states not normally available to us in everyday experience. This deliberate confusion of real and imagined is central to the premise of Surrealism.


Title     :Hallucinogenous Bullfighter

Year      :1969 - 70

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :400(H) x 300(W) cm

Collection:The Salvador Dali Museum


Salvador Dali creates this optical illusion by “hiding” pictures within the painting. In this particular painting he “hides” a bullfighter. The movement in the painting is frenzied because there is so much going on in the painting. Every part of the painting has some chaotic movement from the colors he chose to the scale of the figures he has drawn. All of the chaotic images keep the viewer’s eyes moving to every little detail of the painting.

Title     :Meditative Rose

Year      :1958

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :36(H) x 28(W) cm

Collection:Private Collection


The rose here is floating in space, a blossom without stem suspended over, and completely and utterly dwarfing, a dreary landscape. Two tiny figures are visible on the ground below it, indicating the rose's massive scale. 


The brilliant red color of the rose makes it even more auspicious in this setting. It is contrasted sharply against the cool blue sky, and the dull, warm earth tones of the landscape and the yellowed horizon above it. 


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