The Burning Giraffe

The Burning Giraffe by Salvador Dali

The Burning Giraffe by Salvador Dali was produced in 1937 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Surrealism movement. The work can be viewed now at Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): burning, giraffe


The Burning Giraffe is an oil painting produced in 1937 by Spanish painter Salvador Dali.

Salvador Dali had been exiled from 1940 to 1948 from the US and painted The Burning Giraffe just before it.

This painting The Burning Giraffe was about his struggle of exile in US and the battle from his home country. The painting features a female figure of blue color described as Femme-coccyx by the artist which means tail bone woman. The painting phenomenon was inspired from a psychoanalytical method which attracted Dali attention. This psychoanalytical method was given by Sigmund Freud. The opened drawers popping up from the female figure referred to as the subconscious within man. Dali quoted that between our era and immortal Greece there is one and only one difference who was Sigmund Freud that the female human body was being depicted as opened secret drawers through psychoanalysis.

The picture of the female figure was drawn with deep blue sky in a twilight atmosphere. There was a total of two female figures with secret opened drawers in the foreground of the painting. One figure was having drawers opened in her chest and several other on the left leg while the other female figure had some phallic shapes on her back being supported by crutch-like objects and also holding a strip of meat in her right hand. The figure in the foreground had her hands, face and forearms all tied down to beneath the skin or stripped down.

Dali paintings had common archetypes of these types of figures in the past. On the lower left of the painting was a Giraffe burning from the fire on its back area. The Golden Age was a film completed in 1930 in which the burning giraffe image was used. This image appeared again during an exhibition of the painting The Invention of Monsters in 1937. The dimensions of the painting were 35 cm × 27 cm or 13.8 in × 10.6 in.

The work can be viewed at Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel


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