©Salvador Dali - Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate.
One Second before Awakening 1944

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate. One Second before Awakening 1944
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate.
One Second before Awakening
1944 51x41cm oil/canvas
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid, Spain

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From Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid:
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Wakening Up was one of the few pictures Dalí painted in the United States, where he lived from 1941 to 1948. During this period the painter was fully occupied placing his artistic genius at the service of the varied demand of the American art trade, such as decorating shop windows, and designing sets for Hollywood films and covers for Vogue magazine, and he had little time left to paint. Although by then his themes tended towards a sentimental religiosity and he had left behind the period of orthodox Surrealism in which he had given free rein to the dream world, the long title of this composition reveals his intention to create a rigorously psychoanalytical work.
In this “hand-painted dream photograph” — as Dalí generally called his paintings — we find a seascape of distant horizons and calm waters, perhaps Port Lligat, amidst which Gala, once again, is the subject of the scene. Next to the naked body of the sleeping woman, which levitates above a flat rock that floats above the sea, Dalí depicts two suspended droplets of water and a pomegranate, a Christian symbol of fertility and resurrection. Above her flies a bee, an insect that traditionally symbolises the Virgin. In Gala’s mind the buzzing of the bee is translated into a dream in which a huge fish bursts out of the pomegranate in the upper part, and in turn spews out two menacing tigers and a bayonet; a second later the bayonet will sting Gala in the arm. Above them an elephant with long flamingo legs, found in other compositions of the period, carries on its back an obelisk — like Bernini’s elephant in the Piazza Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome — which symbolises the power of the pope.
Paloma Alarcó

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