Salvador dali's the kingdom
When asked to name a surrealist artist, a majority of people would answer “Salvador Dali”. He became the figure head of the movement, creating artwork that screamed of delusions, sex, and/or drug use. Nonetheless, Dali was a prolific artist with an outstanding work ethic that followed him into his twilight years.
Dali’s wife, Gala, has long been his muse and was intertwined with the surrealist movement from the beginning. Gala’s first husband was the French poet, Paul Éluard (one of the founders of the surrealist movement). During her first marriage, Gala had an affair with the painter Max Ernst (another pioneer of the Dada and Surrealist movement). Dali met Gala in 1929 and they were married in 1936. It is said that Gala was attracted to genius and found a lifelong love and companionship with Dali.
Beyond her role as muse and model, Gala herself was a poet and according to the Dali Museum, “Gala’s role in their relationship becomes that of his business manager. She is accountable for the management of their money and handles all negotiations with patrons and galleries concerning Dali’s work. Gala is also responsible for organizing the day-to-day details of life, allowing Dali to paint. Her artistic chores range from selecting and researching the best paints, varnishes and brushes to finding fine old frames to exhibit his paintings. Gala always insisted that he pay careful attention to his technique.”
Gala Dali was an essential part and partner to the work of Salvador Dali. Without her, Dali’s desire and drive to create diminished. In 1982, he painted his final painting; Gala dies that same year. The Dali Museum writes of his late life that “In the last years of his life, and following the death of his dear wife Gala, Dali painted less and less. Still fascinated by the ideas of immortality and the fourth dimension, his last works were mathematical in nature—challenging the plasticity of life as we know it.”
Dali’s The Kingdom was created in 1980. That was the same year that both Dali and Gala became severely ill with the flu and after which Gala began to suffer from senile dementia. It could be argued that The Kingdom is a portrait of Dali and Gala, the servant and his muse. The man, whose head is adorned with laurels (a symbol of achievement) follows the woman in servitude, carrying her robe and in her hand is a mirror (a symbol of physical and spiritual reflection). Both subjects look over their shoulder and outside the frame, acknowledging the viewer with their gaze. Behind them, a classical scene is set within Dali’s iconic use of perspective culminating in a clustered, classically styled scene containing what looks like an “eye”. Each figure behind the main subjects point towards the orb/pupil. The “eye” symbolizes the gateway into the soul and is often associated with perception, intelligence, light, vigilance, moral conscience, and truth. In this piece, the “eye” is crowned with a triumphant mounted statue.
Dali may have been processing his life, health, relationship, and legacy with this piece or in other words: the past (the scene behind the subjects), the present (the subjects in their respective roles toting their symbols of success and reflection), and the future (the viewer, the “eye”, the perception of the subjects and their kingdom).
Weinberger Fine Art has two prints(numbered 233/350 and 234/350) of The Kingdom signed by Salvador Dali. Colored Lithograph print on Arches Paper, 29.5 x 21.5 inches
For more information or to purchase, contact the gallery.