The Face Of War by Salvador Dali

Essay by jasonh886hotmailcom March 2004

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The Face Of War by Salvador Dali

This painting is a skull-like head surrounded by long hissing snakes. Each skeleton has a skeleton within it so the head is full of infinite death. This is a symbol of mass murders and concentration camps. This painting was painted in the United States, where Dali was to live for eight years and reach the pinnacle of his worldly fame and success.

Dali was a Spaniard born on 11 May 1904 in the little village of Cadaques. Dali came from a middle class family. Dali's parents had wealthy cultivated friends who encouraged young Dali's wonderful talent. At seventeen Dali's mother died and he left home to study art at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid, here he became close friends with two other students who also became famous: 20th century poet 'Federico Garcia Lorca' and director 'Luis Bunuel'. Dali was considered a rebel by the academy authorities because of the clothes he wore and his style of painting.

He was also suspended for a year for being accused of insubordination.

In the summer of 1929 Dali had an affair with Gala Eluard and they got married in 1958. Gala became Dali's muse, he also used her as a model in many of his paintings and she even saved him from a serious mental crisis. Once married Gala became very greedy and encouraged him to commercialise, but she also often made his art seem less important than it really was. Gala died in 1982 and Dali was crushed by this, but he was also partly to blame. Dali sadly died on the 29 January 1989 at the age of eighty-five, he is buried in his native Catalan town of Figueros in the Dali Museum.

I have chosen this particular Dali painting to write about...