Slavador Felipe Jacinto Dali Essay, Research Paper
Slavador Felipe Jacinto Dali I Domenech was born on May 11, 1904 in the small farming town of Figueres in the Catalonian region of Spain. It was here in the foothills of the Pyrenees where Dali spent his youth, that many of the ideas, inspirations, and images repeated in his paintings have their roots. As a young boy Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. At the academy Dali studied many different painting styles and became quite proficient at them. Many of his earlier works include impressionist, cubist, and realist techniques. As Dali matured, these interests were transformed into his own surrealistic style. The first recognition of Dali’s talents came with his first show held in Barcelona in 1925. He became known globally when three of his paintings, including The Basket of Bread were on display at the 3rd annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928. It was also this year that Dali joined a group of painters led by Andre Breton known as the surrealists. Soon after this Dali met Gala Eluard when she was on a trip with her husband Paul Eluard. Gala became Dali’s lover, business manager, and primary inspiration. Dali soon became the leader of the Surrealist movement, until he was expelled from the group during a trial in 1934 due to political clashes during WWII. After this expulsion Dali slowly moved away from his surrealistic style and moved into his classic period. His new interests in the Catholic Church, science, and history are evident in these works. Some of his most well known works from this period are The Hallucinogenic Toreador, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and The Ecumenical Council. Many of these classical works were done on large canvases 14 feet high. In order to paint these huge canvases, Dali removed a section of his floor and set up a system of pulleys so he could raise and lower the canvases between the two floors. Dali’s wife Gala died in 1982 and he was faced with a deteriorating health in his own life shortly after. In 1984 Dali was injured in a fire in his home in Pubol, Spain. In 1986 a pacemaker was implanted into Dali, and he died from heart failure on January 23, 1989. During his life, Dali was responsible for thousands of works, which varied from oils, watercolors, drawings, graphics, sculptures, jewels, and fashion designs to an assortment of other objects.
In Salvador Dali’s work The Persistence of Memory, Dali presents a dream-like world, which he uses as his stage to showcase his views of himself, the world, and life. Dali uses elements such as time and beauty to convey these thoughts. In the background is the rocky surface of Cape Creus, which shows up quite often in his work. Growing up in Catalonia, Dali loved the beautiful landscape and Cape Creus became one of his favorite places to paint. He uses it repeatedly in his works to show the beauty in the world and untouched nature. In the foreground are three melted watches Dali used to literally show the insignificance of time in his life. Also in the foreground, is a limbless self-portrait of Dali, himself melting along with the watches.
In Dali’s own life, time had no significance. He spent his days eating, sleeping, painting, and whatever else he wanted to do. The days seemed to fly by without any real indication of having passed. The dead tree can be viewed in this same light. Time will pass on unnoticed and the life of the tree will have come and gone with new trees sprouting up to take its place. The same can be said for his own melting figure. His life will pass on, as cape creus and the ocean in the background stand still unaffected by him. His life is unimportant to the world, except to himself and those who know him.
His use of line in this work is varied. In the watches and his figure, the lines flow simulating the movement of his life and time both passing through the world around him without any real significance. The geography of the land and water stand out from these figures with their definite shape and straight lines. This seems to stand for their unchanging nature through the course of time.
In another one of Dali’s works The Hallucinogenic Toreador, Dali uses the double imagery and symbolism that became famous for. When Dali was in a shop one day picking up a set of his favorite pencils, he noticed something that struck him as odd. On the pencil was the usual picture of the Venus De Milo. However, this time he saw an image of a crying bullfighter hidden in the image of the woman. This image haunted him for quite some time and finally compelled him to paint this work. Repeated in the horizontally across the center of the painting are images of the Venus De Milo. In the exact center of the painting is a button. This button is the top of the bullfighter’s collar. Below it is the green skirt, which turns into a necktie. The white of skirt makes up the rest of the shirt, while her stomach makes up the chin and mouth. Her left breast forms the nose and the head turns into an eye with a tear. The bullfighter cries for beautiful landscape of Catalonia, which is being invaded by tourists. The translucent bay with a woman in a yellow boat located close to the bottom center of the painting represents this invasion. The large flies flying past this bay are symbolic of Dali’s common joke that even the notorious flies of the region could not drive away the tourists. Just above the bay, the bull appears. Dali painted the bull using the tentacle of an octopus. In the seats is a glowing bust of his wife Gala. The frown on her face is because she hates bullfights. In the back of the arena are many doors around the perimeter. Every door but one has a statue standing near it. These statues give the doors manmade and earthly qualities. The one door in center without the statues actually has an angel at each side. These angels represent a passage to heaven. This is where the bull or the toreador exits when one of the two is killed in the fight. In the bottom right corner is boy standing with a whip behind his back. This is Dali himself watching over the scene. The images in this painting are very different from the melting figures and objects from his surrealistic period. This classic period brought about much more realistic figures, while still having that twist that Dali is famous for.