Does Dali Dream Of Distorted Elephants?

2162 words - 9 pages

Salvador Dalí is whom many people think of when they think of the quintessential modern artist. But his career actually had many styles, and inspirations, and he was never a modernist. He was, instead, a surrealist, part of the beginnings of a movement that descended from a post-WWI reaction to bourgeoisie and materialism. By 1946, when Dalí painted “The Temptation of Saint Anthony”, he had lived through two world wars, emigrated from his home Catalan province (and Europe), and been both a figurehead and an exile of a significant artistic movement. In 1946, Dalí was in a transition period between his most famous surrealist style (one that was very much his own, contrary to the influences owed to his past involvements) and a more reactionary focus on the sciences and mathematics that preoccupied his later years. Given all these influences, it almost seems appropriate that Dalí would turn to a religious subject in a time of confusion, or crossroads, and paint a subject so utterly contrary to any of his expressed beliefs or influences. “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” can be considered one of Dali’s last homages to surrealism and simultaneously a reaction piece to the evident godlessness of World War II.
Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueras, Spain, a city of Catalonia. He attended both a public school and a private Christian school during his childhood, after proving to need a bit more discipline than standard teaching methods could give, and according to his own (likely biased) accounts, he was troubled as a child in a very Freudian manner – megalomaniacal and “hypersensitive”. Given the flamboyant content of his autobiography, as several scholars have observed, that behavior continued throughout his lifetime, and yet its accuracy is occasionally dubious, especially when compared to other interviews of those who knew him during his adolescence and young adulthood (Ades, Soby). He displayed artistic talent relatively early on, but he wasn’t “precocious” in his development; as of his attendance at the School of Fine Arts in Madrid, he had not yet found a “direction for his art” (Soby 3). He was expelled from the School in 1926, but by then he already had had several exhibitions, and shortly thereafter shifted his focus to Paris. His work was technically very proficient, but as late as 1929 there is a clear lack of stylistic choice in his paintings. Several contemporary paintings from that period might be done in a Cubist style for one, the next Impressionistic, and yet another reminiscent of 17th century Dutch realistic still lives. In 1929, Dali officially joined the Surrealist party and moved to Paris. Dali was clearly capable of being stylistically flexible, and that enabled his later variety of subjects.
Surrealism gave Dali’s art a distinct direction. Fortuitously, Freud’s theories were becoming more popular and widespread at the same time. They aligned quite well with current thought of the surrealist movement, as both...

Find Another Essay On Does Dali Dream of Distorted Elephants?

Surrealism and Salvador Dali Essay

1955 words - 8 pages completes the circle of association by returning to Llucia who was Dali’s wet nurse; hence the nutritive quality of the furniture in the title (Dali , 67).      One of Dali’s most famous paintings “Swans Reflecting Elephants” was also created in the 1930's . The end of the 1930's saw the Spread of Dali’s reputation to America. He was officially recognized on December 14th 1936 when he appeared on the cover of Time

Surrealism- 20th Century Art Movements Essay

1637 words - 7 pages painting, although an element of Surrealism was always insinuated in his works.In Dali's Persistence of Memory, painted in 1931, Dali expresses real, familiar clocks melting in a dream-like manner. The clocks are painted in local colour and very realistically. This plays tricks with the viewers mind as surely the hard, metallic, mechanically produced clocks can not melt. On one of the clocks, red ants are swarming over the orange surface

Salvador Dali: Vision of Hell

1024 words - 4 pages Salvador Dali: Vision of Hell Surrealism was the 20th century phase in art and literature of expressing subconscious in images without order or coherence, as in a dream. Surrealist art went beyond writing or painting objects as they looked at reality. Their art showed objects in distorted forms, colors, and movements, like in a dream. Dali’s surrealistic art was based on the belief that there were treasures hidden in the human mind. The word

Surrealism Comparison of Elsa Schiaparelli's Desk Suit and Salvador Dali's Anthromorphic Chest of Drawer

1642 words - 7 pages that hits the viewer is a monstrous figure of a woman half-lying on the ground. Her body looks distorted and frightening. She keeps her head down and with her hand raised up she gives an impression of rejecting the outside world. On her chest there is a set of pulled out drawers which represent feminine parts of her body, which brings sexual meaning into the image . With regard to his paintings featuring drawers and their meaning Dali said: “The

This paper is about salvidor dali the greatest artist

1104 words - 4 pages express a certain vision, or just a modernization of an old subject. In 1958 Dali married Gala, who would become a frequent subject in his works from that point onwards.In 1965 Dali began to move into sculpture, recreating scenes from his paintings, most of them recurring subjects, such as elephants with spiders legs and the famous melting clocks. Dali crafted these works, for the most part, out of bronze or crystal. Dali also worked in lithographs in

Salvador Dali

1022 words - 4 pages weather, and therefore killing the tree, time does not care. It will still go on. It might be warped and out of control, but it is still constant. Also, Salvador Dali tends to use insects a lot in his work. A few years ago, at the Dali museum in Tampa, I learned that when he was young the other children used to torment him by throwing bugs, especially huge grasshoppers at him. These became symbols of horror in his paintings. The insects

Salvador Dali: His Life and Paintings

1661 words - 7 pages technique that was contradicted by the unreal `dream' space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery. He described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs' and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax (Descharnes, Neret, 1998).After occupation of France in 1940 Dali went

World of Surrealism in the Works fo Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali

1550 words - 7 pages ). A recurrent theme in Dali’s paintings is drawers, such as Anthropomorphic Chest of Drawers. The painting was exhibited for the first time in 1936 at the Lefevre Gallery in London. This art work was painted in oil on wood in that same year, although before painting it, Dali did several pencil and ink drawings. The first thing that strikes the viewer is a monstrous figure of a woman half-lying on the ground. Her body looks distorted and

Salvador Dali, the art within

1163 words - 5 pages artistic style formed into a blend of precise realism and dreamlike fantasy, created stretched and vast landscapes with often unrelated and bizarre objects. These pictures, "hand painted dream photographs" as Dali would call them, are inspired by dreams, and the feeling of the artist which can never really be explained, this all comes into practice though a method he called "paranoiac-critical activity".The most recognizable figure he would use would

Dali and Science

2142 words - 9 pages through his ‘critical paranoia’ transforms his pieces. Jean-Francois Millet’s The Angelus, has burned the composition of the two motionless figures of the peasants almost in mourning or soft regarded prayer, Dali states the image has caused “great unease” in his life since his childhood. Now using Freudian’s dream theory, he wanted to see through his obsession for a deeper meaning, of course Dali implies a erotic meaning to piece, more

Sigmund Freud's Influence upon Salvador Dali

1590 words - 6 pages great deal of self-analysis. Freud asserted, “dreams relate point-for-point to the dreamer’s past and present life, but their elements’ meanings must be unlocked via free association rather than by decoding each symbol out of some kind of dream-dictionary”. (Masson, The Life of Sigmund Freud) Interpreting dreams was a fascinating new field of study, and attracted a great deal of various personalities. Sigmund Freud published another

Similar Essays

In What Ways Does Arthur Miller Present The Failure Of The American Dream?

1473 words - 6 pages intends to pay it back, protesting with the angry pride of the disadvantaged 'I'm keeping an account of everything, remember'Throughout his life, he dreams of better times, in his earlier days, he dreams of the future, and once his glory days are over, he dreams of his past ' remember that Ebbet's field game? Willy has failed to reach his dream, but he keeps up the pretence that he has, or will. Only alone, or in moments of great emotion, does he

To What Extent Does 'a Midsummer Night's Dream' Present Love As A Kind Of Madness?

1149 words - 5 pages !"Hermia is the only character to who had any sort of rational words or thoughts for any of the others, she had also endured Lysander's insults and infidelity unlike Helena, who had fallen to pieces when she thought she was being mocked. Though Hermia does try to start a fight with Helena, but her love for Lysander withstands all tests.At first after reading 'A midsummer Night's Dream' I had believed that it was a play about love, but after

How Does 'the Death Of A Salesman' By Arthur Miller And 'better Days' By Bruce Springsteen Position Us To See The American Dream?

1328 words - 5 pages accessible it is to him.However, in the book, Charley, who Willy tells his sons conspiratorially, is not well liked, is a highly successful businessman and his son Bernard, who used to be a glasses wearing book worm is now a brilliant lawyer. This different, successful family shows the audience that the American Dream does exist and can be achieved by normal people.Because of Willy's view of the easily attainable Dream, his older son, Biff is 'lost

Salvador Dali Essay

797 words - 3 pages Salvador Dali is one of the greatest artists of the surrealist movement. He has been labeled as one of the great geniuses in the art world during his time. Dali depicted scenes from his dreams as well as distorted views of ordinary objects and turned them into famous and timeless pieces of art. Using a method he called critical paranoia, also known as self-inducing psychotic hallucinations, in order to create art, Dali was able to convey