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Enigmatic Elements

Little-Known Velasquez Work Inspires a Religious Dali Painting

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 05, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   We know how passionately Salvador Dali revered the Old Masters. He advised fledgling artists to “begin by painting like the Renaissance masters; after that, do as you wish, you will always be respected.”   Dali knew that refining one’s technique and taking to heart Ingres’ belief that “drawing is the essence of art” was the first order of business, if one had aspirations of becoming a great artist.

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Looking Back on the Original Salvador Dali Museum in Beachwood, Ohio

Posted by Paul Chimera on April 02, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   The two photographs below have never been published anywhere before.   They pertain to the original Salvador Dali Museum established provisionally in a wing of an office building in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, way back in 1971.   The one-room museum – which, due to zoning restrictions, had to be visited by appointment only (to control traffic) – housed part of the renowned Dali collection of

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Easter Sunday, 1955: Dali’s ‘Sacrament of the Last Supper’ Unveiled to the World

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 29, 2018
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Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   I find discussions of Salvador Dali’s “Sacrament of the Last Supper” fascinating – but often unpredictable. That’s because the work has the dubious distinction of being one of the most highly lauded and vigorously derided paintings of the modern era. I’m pretty sure no one is neutral about this imposing masterwork: you either really love it or really dislike it. There’s no fence-sitting when it comes to this Dali

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Salvador Dali Enjoyed ‘Fooling the Eye’

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 26, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Fool me once, shame on you; fool me hundreds of times….and you may be describing a large chunk of Salvador Dali paintings, drawings, prints and more.   Take the master of the double-image, add in technical virtuosity worthy of the Old Masters, and you’ve got the recipe for some fantastic illusion with paint and brush.   And that includes the always-fun phenomenon of trompe l’oeil, or “fool the

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Dali: “Somebody ‘Food’ My Cookies!”

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 22, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   This photo of Salvador Dali, taken at the Plaza Hotel in New York, reminds me of a charming true story told to me when I was being considered for the position of publicity director of the original Salvador Dali Museum in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland (I got the job).   Specifically, I’m focused on the woman in the background of this Plaza Hotel photo, who seems

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A Great Dali Painting that Too Often Flies Under the Radar

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 19, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   One Salvador Dali painting I sense sort of flies under the radar some – a work I don’t believe leaps readily to mind when people think of the artist – is “Sistine Madonna,” a.k.a., “Madonna of the Ear.”   So today’s a good time to take a brief look at this unique picture, since the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has lent the large 1958 canvas

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Dali Used TV as Performance Art and Brilliant Career Promotion

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 14, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   In Salvador Dali’s rather famous appearance on the American TV game show, “What’s My Line?”, the celebrated artist was asked if he was a leading man. Dali responded, “Yes,” to which the show’s host had to dial up a bit of corrective clarification.   But when it came to television – Dali’s strategic use of it to help weave his persona into the fabric of everyday society, that

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Dali & Disney Struck a Chord Few Have Known About

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 12, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   There’s always so much to discover, rediscover, and just marvel at when the subject turns to Salvador Dali. Whether we’re talking about his paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, sculptures or other creative projects, there seems to be an endless supply of tasty morsels for us to consume with gusto.   SOMETHING MOST FOLKS NEVER KNEW, UNTIL NOW…   I can’t speak for you, of course, but your humble Dali

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Landscape of Dali’s Homeland Mirrored in Dali’s Paintings

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 08, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   Yes, Salvador Dali was a Surrealist. Of course. The most famous one of all. But he was also a realist. A great one. And I mean realist in two different ways: his realistic painting technique, and as a source of inspiration. Let me explain.   Much – perhaps most – of Salvador Dali’s ideas sprang from his imagination. His subconscious. His active dream world. How else can one

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Dali’s ‘Christ’ Appears in St. Pete; Octopi Help Create Great Art

Posted by Paul Chimera on March 05, 2018
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By Paul Chimera Salvador Dali Historian   AND THE DALI’S GO TO… Asia seems to be buying up a lot of things these days – including “Maison pour Erotomane” and “Gradiva,” the two small early 1930s Salvador Dali paintings that fetched nearly $5 million and $4 million, respectively, at a recent Sotheby’s auction in London. Dali Museum curator Joan Kropf tells me both winning bids were from Asian collectors who bid anonymously over the phone.

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