Essay about Surrealism: Salvador Dalí and Classic Greek Statue

Submitted By k78076
Words: 621
Pages: 3

Most of the space is utilized with almost unrelated objects. The central objects in the painting are the two large sculptures, and the colored prism. In addition, there is what appears to be the head of a dead bull, a vast collection of flies, and a small boy observing from the edge. Dali used forms to create the figures of the Venus de Milos, as well as the hidden face of the toreador. The value range of the painting is quite extensive as it reaches from the bright yellows surrounding the face of his wife in the upper left corner to the deep shadows of the sculptures’ torsos. Bold, striking colors are used, such as the rich red of the Venus de Milo’s skirt.

The span of repeated Venus de Milo sculptures dominates the piece; in which Dali activates the negative space in order to create the silhouettes; the dark shadows contrasting with the yellow highlight. The body of the Venus de Milo with the green and white skirt makes up the face of the toreador, while her clothes represent the bullfighter’s shirt and tie. Towards the bottom left, there is a cube made out of bursting, colorful dots; providing the painting with a sense of movement. In the upper right hand corner, the evenly spaced out flies create a disturbing pattern throughout the artwork.

As is common with most of Dali’s work, The Hallucinogenic Toreador presents the viewer with many symbols. Initially, what is clear is the connection to the artist’s Spanish culture. The Venus’s skirts are arranged in such a way that it looks like the
Spanish flag, and furthermore the painting is set in a bullfighting ring, which plays a large role in Spanish society. At the Dali Museum, I learned that Salvador Dali was fascinated by physics, which could be the reason behind the exploding molecules near the center of the piece.



In The Song of Love, there are three main objects: a ball, a rubber glove, and the head of a classic Greek statue. In the background are buildings and a train. Chirico used primary colors to attract attention towards the symbolic objects; the red glove, the blue sky, and the yellow wood. The three main objects mentioned before, make up the colors of the Italian flag, Chirico’s nationality. Thin, black lines outline most of the objects’ shapes. There is value, in that each object is shaded with black.