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leda-atomica

Dali marries Myth and Science Masterfully in ‘Leda Atomica’

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 23, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   A small Dali painting with a huge impact and following, “Leda Atomica” (1949) is one of Salvador Dali’s best works – masterfully painted and among the true treasures in the permanent collection of the Teatru-Museu Dali in Figueres, Spain.   Certain paintings by Dali seem to have a jewel-like quality about them, a kind of precise perfection. I’m thinking of similarly small works such as “Ghost of

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Dali, Roosevelt and Lincoln on this President’s Day!

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 20, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   On this President’s Day in the U.S.A., I thought we’d take a look at a little-known and rather unusual Dali mixed-media piece that spotlights the U.S. president at the time the work was created, 1942 – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, better known as FDR. Salvador Dali and his wife Gala were in exile in the United States during the 1940s, due to the war, spending time at

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‘Sleep’ Among Salvador Dali’s Best-Known Works

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 16, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   “Sleep” is one of the best-known surrealist paintings by Salvador Dali; practically every book featuring representative examples of Dali’s art includes this painting from 1937.   People seem to love it – perhaps because of its relative simplicity, while at the same time due to its bizarre expression of the phenomenon of sleep. The huge balloon-like head stretched across the width of the canvas – the heavy form

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Photo Realism Informs Dali’s Portrait of His Wife

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 13, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   Salvador Dali described his technique as “hand-painted color photography.” It may be difficult to find a Dali painting that fits that description better than “Portrait of Gala With Rhinocerotic Attributes” of 1954.   The work, in the Teatru-Museu Dali in Figueres, Spain, depicts a 60-year-old Gala in such a photographic fashion that we can be certain he worked from a photograph of his wife, muse and leading

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Dali’s ‘Infanta’ is Homage to Velasquez; Was Eleanor Morse’s Favorite

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 09, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   When I was publicity director of the original Salvador Dali Museum in Beachwood, Ohio, near Cleveland, a frequently asked question was posed to the museum owners (and benefactors of the present-day Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida), Reynolds and Eleanor Morse: “Which Dali painting is your favorite?”   Eleanor was unhesitant: “Velasquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of His Own Glory,” 1958. Mrs.

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Mirage

Dali’s ‘Mirage’ is Little-Known but Surrealistically Seductive!

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 06, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   Perhaps there’s a bit of irony in this, but in my view some of Salvador Dali’s very best creations were executed for unabashedly commercial assignments. A well-known example are the wonderful mixed-media pieces he produced for Bryan Hosiery. And this not very well known but spectacular oil painting about which I’m writing today: “Mirage” of 1946. The irony comes from the fact that many people – during

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‘Philosopher Illuminated…’ May be Dali’s Darkest Painting

Posted by Paul Chimera on February 01, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   While we can always admire any Salvador Dali painting for its imaginative nature and impressive technique, sometimes the meaning of his works leave us with more questions than answers. For this blogger, that’s certainly the case with Dali’s 1939 oil on canvas, “Philosopher Illuminated by the Light of the Moon and the Setting Sun” (private collection).   This is surely one of the least-known of Dali’s paintings,

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Dali’s ‘My Wife Nude…’ Ingeniously Links Classic and Modern

Posted by Paul Chimera on January 30, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   Some Salvador Dali paintings just seem to embody everything about the man’s genius: his inimitable ideas, his Renaissance-like technical skill, his vision and innovation, and his unique success in seamlessly melding classicism and modernism.   Such is the case in the stunning “My Wife Nude Contemplating Her own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture” of 1945.   Just how completely Dali “worshipped”

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Dali’s ‘Skull of Zurbaran’ Just Might be Perfect!

Posted by Paul Chimera on January 26, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   Ever notice how certain Salvador Dali works just give you a good feeling? I suppose it’s usually when the work is “pretty,” like “Meditative Rose.” Or amusing, like “Celestial Ride” – both discussed in earlier posts here.   For reasons largely unexplainable, I’m compulsively drawn to Dali’s 1956 “Skull of Zurbaran,” in the collection of the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. I’ve seen it at the Hirschhorn several

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Dali’s ‘Naughtiest’ Painting formerly Owned by Hugh Hefner!

Posted by Paul Chimera on January 23, 2017
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By Paul Chimera Dali Writer & Historian   It sure is fitting that, until it was sold at auction some years back for upwards of $2 million, “Young Virgin Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity” (1954) was one of the long-time prized possessions of Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner. Who better to proudly display what is arguably Salvador Dali’s naughtiest work of art!    What might we suppose Dali was thinking at this time? What message, if

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