How could two pieces created in different art movements share similar traits? Salvador Dali’s Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening and Georgio De Chirico’s The Disquieting Muses are surprisingly similar. Both paintings take the viewer into the dream world by using different elements, principles, and subject matter. Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening was an oil on canvas painting (20 in x 15. 9 in) created in 1944. Dali was a leader in the Surrealist movement, and this painting reflects Surrealism well.
The subject matter was inspired by a dream that Dali’s wife, Gala, had. The nude and idealized Gala floats above a rocky platform that is also floating above the ocean. The heart shaped pomegranate (the Christian symbol of fertility and resurrection) is cut open and has a scorpion fish bursting out of the fruit. Coming out of the mouth of the fish, is a tiger, and jumping out of that tiger’s mouth, is another tiger. In front of the tiger, a baoyonet is falling just inches away from Gala’s face. The bee is located beside a pomegrante directly below Gala’s ribcage. There is also another bee created out of four subjects.
The bayonet symbolizes the bee’s stinger, the two tigers are the body (black and yellow) and the fish is the eyes of the bee. In the foreground is an elephant with elongated legs found in other Dali pieces. Giorgo de Chirico’s The Disquieting Muses was also an oil on canvas painting (38. 25 in x 26 in) but was created sometime between 1916-1918. The two muses are in the front of the painting. One is standing, and another is sitting. A red mask, a staff, and several other items are placed beside them. There is also a manequin in the foreground. The painting’s setting is among a couple of factories.
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It is a very industrialized scene that shows no signs of nature. The painting altogether shows little relation to the real world. Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian painter who believed that, “ art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere”. Chirico was a part of the Metaphysical art movement which strongly inspired the Surrealist movement. The greatest similaritiy between the two paintings is their ability to take the viewer out of this world by using unrealistic figures. Dali’s painting is based on a dream, and Chirico’s painting reminds the viewer of a dream.
Both paintings use form and perspective to create a 3D world. Surrealists believed in blurring the boundary between art and reality. Similarly, Chirico’s paintings from 1909-1919 escaped reality. The two artists also shared times of chaos. Although Chirico came before Dali, Giorgio painted during World War I and Salvador painted through World War II. Despite being different wars, they were wars nonetheless, and each artist experienced the hardships that world wars can bring. Because of World War II, Salvador Dali fled to the United States to escape Europe, where as Giorgio de Chirico remained in the East during WWI.
The two artists went through different time periods, and thus, experienced different cultures. In the latter time of his career, de Chirico switched his style to closer match classisicm, and even critisized the surrealists, while Dali was a proud leader of the Surrealist movement. The colors in The Disquieting Muses are warm colors along with dark values and create an feeling of uncertanity. In Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening most of the colors are cool colors, and despite the presence of two jumping tigers, the viewer still feels calm.
Dali’s work captures motion in every part of the painting, from the floating Gala, to the walking elephant, to the pomegranate seeds falling. In contrast, Chirico’s subjects are perfectly still with the exception of two small flags being blown by the wind. Although Salvador Dali creates a painting that is unrealistic, the subject matter is made up of objects that a human can recognize, for example, a viewer knows what a tiger, an elephant, a nude woman, and what the ocean looks like.
On the other hand, Girogrio de Chirico creates muses, a mask, and other objects that most people have never seen before. In conclusion Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening and The Disquieting Muses are both examples of “the dream world”. One is actually based on a dream, while the other simply gives a dream-like feeling. Each one takes the viewer out of reality and into an unknown environment which is exactly what the artists intended to do.
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