Salvador Dalí Domènech 11.5.1904 (Figueras/Catalonia, Spain), died 23.11.1989 after suffering from Parkinson's disease for nine years. Dali is a controversial person, in 1975 Francisco Franco the dictator of Spain and friend of Hitler ordered the execution of five political rivals. Salvador's Dali response to the protests from all over the world: “ We have to execute more people!”. I assume that Dali said this because he was an eccentric person and sometimes he had no limits in his provocations. As Costas Ferris describes in http://www.engelen.demon.nl/666-dali-meeting.htm Dali said that he was not a friend of Franco even if the general wanted to be his friend.
The tragedy of the story is that the execution was shortly before Franco died and Spain became a democratic state and like any civilized country it abolished the death penalty for all crimes (not only ordinary crime).
Dali was influenced by Greek Art, Mythology and History. According to Soby he produced a portrait of Helen at Troy before he was 10 years old. Dali was for me a much superior artist than Pablo Picasso. Here a few examples of his work that contains “Greek Elements”.
My Wife, Nude, Contemplating her Own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture. (Poster ) . The new style of classicism symbolized by the Greek head affixed to the wall (shown separately). From a Forum I have the following information: It was painted in five weeks, two hours a day. Dali added "When I was five years old, I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remaining but except the shell. Through the holes in its anatomy one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity, I look at the sky through the flesh."
Salvador Dali's versions of three of the seven Wonders of the World in Antiquity (all in 1954); a) The Pharos of Alexandria with two versions, b) The Colossus of Rhodes and c) The Colossal Statue of Zeus.
Aphrodite of Milo in a work of Salvador Dali, The Hallucinogenic Torreador ( Poster) with multiple hidden images. It primarily focuses on the torreador (bull-fighter), whose face is hidden within the repeated representation of the Venus de Milo. The upper portion of the painting contains the bull-fighter's arena, again surrounded by multiple images of the goddess. There is also a hidden image of the bull in the lower left quadrant of the painting (drinking water from a pool), and an image of a boy (possibly a self-portrait as a child, as his clothing represents the approximate time period of his boyhood). (Information from http://www.eyeconart.net/history/surrealism.htm ) More Info , Additional Info
Dali's painting The Apotheosis of Homer "reduces Homer to a broken bit of statuary, a relic, while the solid temple of the muse itself melts"... The "ethereal horse," which may be Pegasus, casting off riders attempting to reach the stars again signals myth's cessation as a legitimate method of contemplating humanity's existence and signals the changing state of not only art, but also thought and reasoning as well (Platzner et al).
Philippe Halsman, "Dali Atomicus" with the Leda Painting
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
How can those terrified vague fingers push
A shudder in the loins engenders there
Being so caught up,
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939 ) Leda and the Swan