Oil on canvas
61.1 cm × 45.3 cm (24.1 in × 17.8 in)
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres
Salvador Domènec Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol (1904 – 1989), commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes" to a self-styled "Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
He took over the Surrealist theory of automatism but transformed it into a more positive method which he named `critical paranoia'. According to this theory one should cultivate genuine delusion as in clinical paranoia while remaining residually aware at the back of one's mind that the control of the reason and will has been deliberately suspended. He claimed that this method should be used not only in artistic and poetical creation but also in the affairs of daily life.
Leda Atomica is made in 1949. The picture depicts Leda, the mythological queen of Sparta, with the swan. Leda is a frontal portrait of Dalí's wife, Gala, who is seated on a pedestal with a swan suspended behind and to her left.
Leda Atomica is organized according to a rigid mathematical framework, following the "divine proportion". Leda and the swan are set in a pentagon inside which has been inserted a five-point star of which Dalí made several sketches. The five points of the star symbolize the seeds of perfection: love, order, light (truth), willpower and word (action).