Sunday, April 3, 2011

'Mirage' Not Real Well Known Dali, But a 'Dreamy,' Beautiful Work!

Not every painting by Dali is real well known, yet many works not immediately familiar to Dali admirers are actually some of his best. A super case in point is the mystifying and gorgeous “Mirage” from 1946, a work that was part of a trilogy Dali painted to promote a perfume called, “Desert Flower.” The elegant Venus, whose gesturing suggests an enraptured, dreamy state of bliss, beholds the flower at the forehead of Apollo, who appears at the edge of a bizarre bridge-like structure that ethereally juts out from a distant mountain. A similar plank sprouts broken bridges that lead to nowhere, buttressing the overarching sense of a dream, or, indeed, mirage that Dali intended to convey in this picture. By the same token, a metaphor for love and passion – what a perfume’s seductive fragrance is all about – is evoked in the way the woman is entranced by Apollo, so perfectly formed, handsome and masculine – and in the way Dali has captured her ultra-feminine figure, with pronounced breasts, angelic arms and legs, svelte, tiny waist, and stunning turquoise dress with gilded trim and a long body necklace punctuated with pearls. The beautiful “Mirage” is intriguing, as well, for the way it blends a dream-like surrealism with a classical temperament, and the point-counterpoint of the delicate Venus contrasted with the hard, sharp, angular lines of the architectural tableau at right. Interpretations of Dali’s work can never match the Master's own comments about his art. Of “Mirage,” he explained, “The encounter of a beautiful woman (Venus) with Apollo in the desert symbolizes the mirage of love. The aura of classical antiquities and the desert flowers issuing from the forehead of Apollo evokes the timeless feeling of love.” The two other Dali paintings in the Desert Flower perfume trilogy were “The Invisible Lovers” and “Oasis.” Look for eventual discussion of those, too, here at

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