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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dali, Salvador


The Sacrament of the Last Supper
1955
oil on canvas
267 x 167 cm
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA

The Sacrament of the Last Supper depicts thirteen figures gathered around a table. This painting was completed during Dali's post-World War II era, which is characterized by his increased interest in science, optical illusion and religion. During this time he became a devout Catholic and simultaneously was astonished by the "atomic age". Dali himself labeled this era in his work "Nuclear Mysticism".

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing." (Dali)

Salvador Domenec Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech, Marquis de Pubol (1904-1989), commonly known as Salvador Dali , 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.

Dali 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. Dali's expansive artistic repertoire includes film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. Dali 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.