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Home >> Popular Painting Styles >> Surrealism


Surrealism is a method of painting in which bizarre and fantastical images from the subconscious mind are visually represented without any intentions of making them logically comprehensible. Surrealism as we know it today is closely related to some forms of abstract art. In fact, they shared similar origins, but they diverged on their interpretation of what those origins meant to the aesthetic of art.

The Surrealist circle was made up of many of the great artists of the 20th century, including Joan Miro, and Rene Magritte. Salvador Dali, probably the best-known Surrealist artist, broke with the group due to his right-wing politics.

History of Orientalism

Salvador Dali as a surrealist

A mustached Mona Lisa gave birth to Salvador Dali in a room full of melting clocks and he was under the constant threat of being engulfed by a flying fish, but he found a protector in an elephant on stilts. Well maybe not quite so, but Salvador Dali Paintings would definitely say as much.

Some of his Surrealistic paintings are listed below

The Persistence of Memory (1931)

This is the most famous and recognized of Daliís works. It is also known as Soft Watches and Melting Clocks. The landscape of the Catalonian seashoer is the background for the depiction of the four soft,cheese textured clocks. This painting seems to suggest that time is not as rigid as it seems.

The Great Masturbator (1929)

The center of this painting has a distorted human face looking downwards. There is also a nude female figure enmeshed in this lump of limbs. The hint of fellatio makes this painting disturbingly sexual. The painting seems to suggest Daliís conflicting attitude towards sex.

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (1937)

This painting is based on the myth of Narcicuss, the Greek mythological figure who fell in love with his own reflection. Dali suggest the decadant nature of self love by placing a decaying stone figure which corresponds closely to Narcissus, next to him.

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