11 best paintings of Salvador Dali

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Salvador Dali – one of the most striking, and certainly unusual representatives of surrealism. The artist himself modestly said: “Surrealism is me.” His legacy is significant, unique and valuable. In each of Dali’s paintings there is a small note of insanity, but Spanish a genius was able to incredibly give any of his works completeness, consistency, and sometimes incredible consistency. In our humble opinion, we have chosen the most famous paintings by the famous author.

The genius of surrealism: the best paintings of Salvador Dali

Nomination a place name rating
Review of the best paintings of Salvador Dali 1 Sleep caused by a bee flying around a pomegranate, one second before awakenings, 1944 5.0
2 Crucifix or Hypercubic Body, 1954 4.9
3 The face of war, 1940 4.8
4 Persistence of Memory, 1931 4.7
5 Geopolitical baby, 1943 4.6
6 Sleep, 1937 4.5
7 Soft design with boiled beans, 1936 4.4
8 Swans reflected in elephants, 1937 4.3
9 Galatea with Spheres, 1952 4.2
10 Giraffe on fire, 1936-1937 4.1
11 Great masturbator 4.0

Sleep caused by a bee flying around a pomegranate, one second before awakenings, 1944

Rating: 5.0

A dream caused by a bee flying around a pomegranate, a second before waking up

Location: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

On the famous canvas of the brush of the Spanish genius is depicted the irreplaceable muse and adored wife of the master of surrealism – Galatea. Once Salvador Dali commented on his creation, saying that his task is to show in the plot depicted a long connected dream (according to Freud), which is actually caused by second exposure from the outside and appears a moment before the awakening of man.

Similar to falling a needle on the neck of a sleeping person wake him from sleep and at the same time cause a long sleep, ending with the guillotine and the buzzing of a bee above Gala’s ear will cause the dream shown on the canvas, which will end with a bite insect and its awakening. In the center of the picture is a portrait of the sleeping Galatea, which floats above a stone slab washed by the sea unconscious. The room does have pomegranate fruit and a bee, but real images fade in front of a huge pomegranate, from whose fish breaks out, spewing two ferocious from the mouth tigers.

In the background of the picture is a Bernini elephant with long articular legs bearing the attributes of the pope on the back. Here there is an explicit reference to the monument of the sculptor Bernini, established in Rome in 1667 at the initiative of the Pope Alexander VII. The elephant in its own way symbolizes the story of Freud, who saw an instant dream about the pope’s funeral caused by the ringing bells.

Crucifix or Hypercubic Body, 1954

Rating: 4.9

Crucifixion or Hypercubic body,

Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The painting of the legendary surrealist is full of various “visions” and dreams, but a lot in his work and from his mind, his own thoughts. The canvas painted in the artist’s homeland after his returning from the United States, this is a vivid reflection of the hot religious temperament of the Spaniards – passionate, even somewhat exalted.

In the center of the canvas is a tesseract (four-dimensional hypercube), on which Christ is crucified. The artist sought to convey bright contrast between strict geometric shape and emphasized curved by the body of the son of God. This increased the feeling of his suffering, incredible tension was created. Dali seemed to want to show how The calculating and cold modern world crucifies Jesus, absorbing his soullessness.

In the work “Crucifixion or Hypercubic Body” Dali continues the tradition of classical painting when in evangelical the plots in the paintings were attended by certain personalities, often contemporaries of the artist who created the canvas. In this case, on Christ is watching the wife of Dali – Gala. And she is not just standing before the crucifix, but contemplates it. This means that in front of her is her vision, that which was revealed to the inner eye.

The face of war, 1940

Rating: 4.8

The face of war

Location: Boymans van Böningen Museum, Rotterdam

Desperate after the lack of life prospects in Europe, Dali decides to move from his beloved Paris to the New World. On the that moment he still does not realize that those 8 years that he is there will, will make it world famous, and the master’s work will recognized masterpieces. The canvas “Face of War” was created on the way to the States – Dali was shocked by the bloody tragedy, and proceeded to paint directly on the boat.

The painting was almost the only one among the works masters where he abandoned the use of complex surreal language and incredible combinations of numerous details, creating understandable to everyone and therefore even more terrifying the canvas. The lifeless head appears in the eyes of the viewer, in the eye sockets and the mouth of which contains other lifeless heads (skulls), and they are still new skulls, up to infinity. Grow out of my head snakes that bite her. The image symbolizes unnaturalness of war, its horror, senselessness and perniciousness for all mankind.

The composition is made in such a way that the viewer is also present in the work: this is indicated by a handprint on a stone, and also the image of the cave, whence the attention of the beholder and appears horrible picture. In the work, muted, perhaps, were used. even depressing shades that enhance the impression of the plot.

Persistence of Memory, 1931

Rating: 4.7

The Persistence of Memory

Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York

This work is considered one of the most famous and discussed. art critics and the public. No other survived so much attempts to explain the plot depicted in the picture. Dali himself claimed that the idea of ​​writing came to him at breakfast when his wife spread cream cheese on toast. The main explanation of the plot is an attempt to explain the complex nature of time, its ductility, secrets and etc. From here – a fluid clock and strict geometric shapes, on which they rely on.

Dali collected in one composition several favorite for himself at once symbols: the sea, consonant with immortality, the egg, identified with life, olive – a symbol of wisdom and ants – decay. In the picture depicted evening: most of the landscape is already in the shade, but the hot rays the sun still illuminates the cape, crashing into the sea surface. Times of Day here symbolizes sadness and some melancholy.

Brown color prevails in the color of the canvas, reinforcing an atmosphere of detachment and pessimism. The artist’s work looks very harmonious, easy to read and creates the desired effect due to the predominance of empty space on the canvas. The miniature of the canvas is another advantage of the work, testifying to frankness and personal experiences the author.

Geopolitical baby, 1943

Rating: 4.6

Geopolitical baby

Location: Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg

Very unusual picture, even considering the fact that it was created extraordinary artist. Her clue is in the date of creation. Dali wrote canvas in the midst of war, when the whole world was groaning with blood and pains. But the Spaniard, having a subtle intuition, already foresaw a new beginning, born in the throes of an old society. Humanity was stuffy and closely within the existing framework. Therefore, it was eager for a new era, sought to remove existing fetters, achieve happiness and peace.

The baby is watching the birth of a new society, he is scared, he hiding at the feet of his mother, but at the same time boldly fixes his gaze. After half a century, this child will rule the new world. Humanity is constantly destroying itself, and then again reborn and then again destroys: this process occurs before infinity. This is the mystery of human entities.

The plot is dominated by yellow tones, creating anxiety and giving the canvas a more complex atmosphere. Any birth gives a sense of hope, but the future is rather foggy. Just a drop of blood recalls that the process of rebirth is painful and full suffering.

Sleep, 1937

Rating: 4.5

Dream, 1937

Location: Private Collection

The painting is considered one of the best and most successful in the collection. Spanish surrealist. The image transferred to the canvas was very important for Dali, because he showed very subtly paranoid fantasy genius. In the center of the plot is an image of a soft head, deprived of the body, which relies on props – peculiar crutches. The sleeper that this head personifies needs props to preserve facial features.

Supports symbolize the fragility of reality: even depicted modestly sitting in the left corner of the dog needs such “support”, otherwise it simply falls to the ground. The background of the picture is made in blue tones, which enhances the feeling of remoteness from the rational of the world.

The artist himself described the image as a pupated monster whose emotional anguish and forms propped up with crutches. Only one is enough the lip comes in contact with a pillow or little finger – with a soft sheet, and the dream will absorb completely. The picture is a vivid representative of the cycle works “Paranoia and the war.” It was written on Cape Creus – extreme eastern point of mainland Spain. Catalans consider it a place true magical power and inspiration. It was there that Dali was looking for, by its expression, the real, material basis of dreams. ”

Soft design with boiled beans, 1936

Rating: 4.4

Soft design with boiled beans

Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art

The gloomy picture was painted by a Spanish artist for several months before the outbreak of civil war in his home country. According to Dali himself, he created this cult canvas, guided by the “prophetic power of his subconscious.” In the picture his anxiety is clearly reflected, even fear is a prediction future horrors of war.

In the center of the composition is an image of two strange bodies, reminiscent of the outlines of Spain with the combination of their creepy hands and feet. This is a symbol of a terrible battle, from which no one will emerge victorious, despite the side. Monstrous trembling humanoid creature symbolizes no less monstrous in its cruelty and horror the war.

Despite being a little absurd, morbidly fantastic image, the picture was pretty realistic. Boiled beans present on the canvas and in its name, possibly are a symbolic representation of the stew eaten poor residents of Spain during that difficult period for the country. “Soft boiled bean design is considered an ideal specimen successful embodiment of a surreal image. This is one of the artist’s greatest masterpieces in which he perfectly conveyed the enormity of war.

Swans reflected in elephants, 1937

Rating: 4.3

Swans reflected in elephants

Location: Private Collection

Each reflection in painting is, in fact, the antipode original image. Often it looks distorted opposite in meaning. It’s like accessing another, parallel world. The fantasies of Salvador Dali are fascinating, they are incredibly deep and intricate, make the viewer’s subconscious mind decipher images and characters reflected on the canvas.

Fantastic creature standing on the shore, as if admiring themselves, seeing the resemblance to swans and elephants at the same time. Composition resembles an unusual phantom that comes out of nowhere back. It’s like a series of images from the subconscious that suddenly materialize in the real world.

The picture feels the tension that is created by dry trees, fire slowly crawling to the water’s edge, practically transparent moon. What happens if a person turns around? Likely, images will disappear. Elephants and swans on canvas personify opposites that cannot without each other. Like good and evil – they only make sense in pairs. And the person depicted in the picture, completely calm: he lives a reality, and his fantasies silently dozing, not disturbing him.

Galatea with Spheres, 1952

Rating: 4.2


Location: Dali Theater Museum, Figueres

After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the power of nuclear weapons has been revealed to the world. Salvador Dali inspired by the power of nuclear physics, and in the same period strengthened his faith: he again began to show interest in Catholicism. So in the artist’s work began the period of “nuclear mysticism”: in his works clearly traced the idea of ​​rationalizing religion with using the achievements of science.

Understanding that matter is represented by a set of atoms, the artist created his work in the form of a set of atomic elements. Canvas Galatea with Spheres is one of the most impressive of the cycle. Here represented by the wife and the permanent muse of genius – Gala. Her face consists of many spheres – nuclear particles that create in combined incredible three-dimensional visual effect.

The combination of colors and their incredible contrast give a significant amount of all the elements of the picture. Galatea looks like mini-universe: so vibrant and, at the same time, amazing space. “Galatea” is considered the most famous painting of series of nuclear mysticism.

Giraffe on fire, 1936-1937

Rating: 4.1

Giraffe on fire

Location: Museum of Art, Basel

This canvas is often considered as a personal sensation. Salvador Dali from what is happening in his home country civil war, as well as an expression of the artist’s attitude towards this cruel I act. In the center of the plot – two female figures with outgrowths on the back and many drawers protruding from the legs of the nearest figure. Since Dali was a big fan of psychologist and neurologist Sigmund Freud, open boxes can be attributed to psychoanalysis by Freud, where a similar object can symbolize human subconscious.

The arms of the figures stretched forward try to find at least some support. The skin has already been partially torn off and bloody flesh is terribly visible. In the distance you see a giraffe, engulfed in flames. He doesn’t feel like He does not notice. The artist himself interpreted the image of a living giraffe in the background canvases as “male cosmic apocalyptic monster. “For him, it was a premonition war.

The whole picture does not create any clarity or clarity of perception. There is a disintegration of figures into separate fragments, twilight crush thickening darkness. In general, the canvas causes alarming premonitions, a sense of tragedy, the approach of something terrible. On the a background of huge symbolic figures of a little white man, depicted wandering in the distance, seems lost, going nowhere, not seeing warning signals.

Great masturbator

Rating: 4.0

The Great Masturbator

Location: Reina Sofia Art Center, Madrid

Surrealist – a special type of artist, which is often even the most embodies innermost thoughts and desires in the form of various plots on canvas. And Salvador Dali is no exception. Spanish master brush often managed to shock the audience with the secrets of their subconscious and the painting “The Great Masturbator” – from among such works. Psychological trauma received by Dali in childhood, forever turned him away from sex and became the main motive of the canvas.

The work immediately traces several of the author’s favorite motives: the rock next to Carkades, turned into a huge head, an egg, symbolizing life itself, ants as a symbol of decay and locusts (or a grasshopper) – terrible horror for the artist himself. Present on the picture and the muse of the great genius of surrealism – Gala.

The main idea of ​​the author was the idea that sex is inseparable from suffering: sex as suffering, suffering as sex. Throughout his life, Dali was never able to get rid of the psychological problems: he always remembered the horror that he experienced in childhood, seeing pictures in a venereal medical album diseases. Due to this psychological trauma, Dali subsequently always experienced physical discomfort during sex. Even love to his wife and constant creative emancipation did not save him from Problems.

The picture can be considered the embodiment of the mystery of the human psyche. AND Dali did not want to give the created canvas to anyone until the end of his life: it always was before his eyes, making you think about hidden from consciousness thoughts. “The Great Masturbator” – eroticism on the verge indecentness, which made the canvas more intimate art.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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