Salvador Dalí- The man. The master. The marvel.

“Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.”Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí. 1929. 

Defining Art using a string of standard words would be a sin- for art hasn’t had and doesn’t have any respect for boundaries or limiting definitions whatsoever. It is this freedom of Art that has blessed this world with many Artistic Masterminds. On the 11th of May 1904, the world was blessed with one such Mastermind- Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí de Púbol gcYC, better known as Salvador Dalí, who went on to revolutionize the world of art as did the legions of masters before and after him.

Dalí was one of the most influential Surrealists of all times. Surrealism was a 20th Century literary, philosophical and artistic movement which developed in Europe under the influence of Dadaism and Abstractionism. Surrealism encouraged the usage of unexpected juxtapositions, non sequiturs and the element of surprise. It is this liberty which perhaps brought about some of the most vibrant and expressive pieces of art anyone had ever seen!

A young Dalí was influenced by masters of the era of Impressionism and Renaissance. He was also attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. Apart from being a master in fine arts, Dalí also wrote fiction, poetry, essays and criticism. 

Dalí’s brainchildren include several masterpieces like:

  • The painting titled ‘The Persistence of Memory’ which symbolizes the relativity of time, that is, how things- even time, are destructible.
  • The painting of ‘Autumnal Cannibalism’ is set in the region of Empordà, in Catalonia, where Dalí was born. It is speculated to be a comment on the Spanish Civil war which began a few months before this painting was painted.
  • The painting of the ‘Mountain Lake’ symbolizes the haunting effect of Dalí’s namesake elder brother’s death- whom he never knew. It also hints at the socio-political instability in the region during that period. The disconnected telephone alludes to negotiations between Neville Chamberlain, the then British PM, and Hitler over the German annexation of the Sudetenland in September 1938.
  • A jewellery collection item, titled ‘The Royal Heart’ which is made using several precious and semi-precious stones. The piece also has a moving mechanism and a reducer which brings this heart to life! What a beautiful way to add a lifelike touch to a seemingly  artificial piece of jewellery! 

These beautiful works allude to the fact that Dalí was a pioneer, expressing himself freely through the medium of art. Whether it is the disrupted political scenario or Dalí’s own emotions, Dalí’s brainchildren often add a socio-psychological impact on the viewer and get her/ him thinking without fail. Often, people lose the track of time while staring at Dalí’s thought provoking works. One such painting, titled ‘The Portrait of my Dead Brother’ refers to one of the key stories in Dalí’s life. Dalí himself said that he was haunted by the death of his namesake elder brother, and would often mythologize him in his art. Dalí said of him, “We resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections. He was probably the first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute”. 

Dalí wrote a brief, elusive description of this painting when it was first exhibited. Here’s what he beautifully portrays: ‘The Vulture, according to the Egyptians and Freud, represents my mother’s portrait. The cherries represent the molecules, the dark cherries create the visage of my dead brother, the sun-lighted cherries create the image of Salvador living thus repeating the great myth of the Dioscures Castor and Pollux.’ This painting has been exhibited at over 25 locations around the world and is currently located at The Dalí Museum, USA.

Dalí continues to inspire us even today, I mean, look at this!

That’s Dalí wearing a mask 🙂 

And I’m sure that Dalí would be very happy if you visit The Dalí Museum– of course, only after you are fully vaccinated, well isolated, wearing a mask and carrying a hand sanitizer!

Located in St Petersburg, Florida, USA, The Dalí Museum houses hundreds of Dalí’s works in a bid to preserve Dalí’s works and legacy. The Dalí Museum’s YouTube page posted a ‘Surreal’ video titled ‘Dreams of Dalí’ which highlights the beauty of Surrealism. This video is definitely a treat for your eyes!

The Fundació Gala – Salvador Dalí foundation has also established four museums across Spain where you can view some mesmerising works of Dalí and also learn more about avant-garde.

So while we all are safely isolated, let us all pay homage to Dalí by virtually enjoying his beautiful creations!

Pro tip- While watching the ‘Dreams of Dalí’ video, try using a VR Cardboard for a truly immersive experience

Madhura Joshi

FY B.Sc.

2 thoughts on “Salvador Dalí- The man. The master. The marvel.

  1. Sucheta says:

    Superb Madhura

    1. Madhura says:

      Thank you!

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