Posts Tagged ‘Salvador Dali’

Salvador Dali & Vermeer’s Lacemaker

January 2nd, 2010

One of Dalí goals was to “rescue” modern painting.  His figurative mode and obsessive extolling of the Old Masters not only incited fellow Surrealists against him in the 1930s, but also later situated him in a diametric opposition to the avant-garde’s penchant towards abstraction.

Throughout art history, artists had incessantly attempted to grasp form and to reduce it to elementary geometrical volumes. Leonardo always tended to produce eggs Ingres preferred spheres, and Cézanne cubes and cylinders. Dalí claimed that all curved surfaces of the human body have the same geometric spot in common, the one found in this cone with the rounded tip curved toward heaven or toward the earth the rhinoceros horn. After this initial discovery, Dalí surveyed his own images and realized that all of them could be deconstructed to rhinoceros horns.

Dalí also discovered what he termed “latent rhinocerisation” in the works of the Great Masters.  The Lacemaker is a rhinoceros horn (or an assemblage of horns), and the rhinoceros’ actual horn is, in fact, a Lacemaker. The painting triumphs over the living rhinoceros because it is entirely comprised of these animated, spiritualized horns, whereas the rhinoceros wields only the single diminutive horn/Lacemaker on its nose.”

Dalí explained, “Up till now, The Lacemaker has always been considered a very peaceful, very calm painting, but for me, it is possessed by the most violent aesthetic power, to which only the recently discovered antiproton can be compared.”

A copy of  The Lacemaker had hung on the wall of his father’s study and had obsessed Dalí for a number of years. In 1955, he asked permission to enter the Louvre with his paints and canvas to execute a copy of Vermeer’s miniscule masterpiecer.