Introduction of Dalí’s Significant Works (2)


Introduction of Dalí’s Significant Works (2)

Title     :The Temptation Of St.Anthony

Year      :1946

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :89(H) × 119 cm

Collection:Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts,Brussels


       The Temptation of St. Anthony depicts a desert-like landscape: a low horizon line with high clouds and dark, warm tones in an azure sky. The figure of St. Anthony kneels in the bottom left corner. He holds an up cross in his right hand and with his left hand supports himself on an ambiguous form. A human skull lies by his right foot. A parade of elephants led by a horse approach St. Anthony. The elephants carry symbolic objects representing temptation: a statue of a nude woman holding her breasts, an obelisk, a building complex confining a nude, disembodied female torso, and a vertical tower. The animals have exaggerated, long, spindly legs, making them appear weightless.

       By using the artistic style of classicism, Dalí's aim was to use its realism to bring him closer to the spirituality contained in all substances and, therefore, closer to the divine.The piece is the first of his works that uses classicism in this way, and is a precursor to other themes that were brought on by this interest in spirituality, such as levitation and the neutralization of gravity.


Title     :Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)

Year      :1936

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :100(H) x 100(W) cm

Collection:Philadelphia Museum of Art


       In Soft Construction with Boiled Beans, however, Dalí applies his method to the very real and deeply troubling subject of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Here a vast, grotesque body rips itself apart, its grimace registering the pain. Set against a technicolor sky and the parched landscape of northern Spain, the mutating figure dominates its environment. This disjunction of scale indicates its symbolic function--despite its hysterical concreteness--as a representation of the physical and emotional self-conflict in which Spain was both the victim and the agressor. The little professor, wandering across the landscape at left, adds an odd counterpoint to the frenzied mass of flesh, as do the morsels of boiled beans that may refer to the ancient Catalan offering to appease the gods.


Title     :Swans Reflecting Elephants

Year      :1937

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :51(H) × 77(W) cm

Collection:Private Collection


       It contains one of Dalí's famous double images. As with the earlier Metamorphosis of Narcissus,Swans Reflecting Elephants uses the reflection in a lake to create the double image seen in the painting. Here, the three swans in front of bleak, leafless trees are reflected in the lake so that the swans' necks become the elephants' trunks and the trees become the legs of the elephants. In the background of the painting is a Catalonian landscape depicted in fiery fall colors, the brushwork creating swirls in the cliffs that surround the lake, to contrast with the stillness of the water.


Title     :The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus (The Dream of Columbus)

Year      :1958-1959

Media     :Oil on canvas

Size      :410(H) × 284(W) cm

Collection:The Salvador Dali Museum


       The painting depicts Christopher Columbus and the members of his crew on a beach on West Indies. The artist portrays the history of discovery of America. Columbus is a young boy, who is painted in a white, flowing robe. He is also surrounded by divine beings in the picture. Dali’s wife, Gala was his muse in the painting. Gala is painted in the style of Murillo’s Madonna figures and appears on the banner that Columbus is holding. Everything behind the ship is surrounded by clouds. To the right of Columbus is a kneeling figure of monk, who is represented by Dali. The most mysterious element of the painting is a holy sea urchin painted in the foreground.