The artist visualized the Angelus couple from the painting by Jean-François Millet. As a result of his memories, Dalí paints the figures as ancient towers on the moonlit Ampurdan plain, an atmosphere charged with an eerie, prehistoric quality. In his essay on Millet’s work, Dalí uses a postcard to illustrate how the bowing figures reminded him of the monoliths (menhirs) he saw in parts of Catalonia.
Dalí paints the female slightly taller than the male, with her features resembling a praying mantis. In his analysis of the painting’s latent meaning, Dalí felt that the female was not only the dominant partner, but also posed a sexual threat to the male, associating her with a female praying mantis. This alludes to Dalí’s assertion that Millet’s painting represents sexual repression, male fear and impotence, and in his work Dalí has updated the popular 19th century Symbolist tradition of the femme fatale into a Surrealist context, extending the message of the implicit dangers of female sensuality.
1934, Paris, Jacques Bonjean, “Exposition Dali” (not certain)
1934, New York, Julien Levy Gallery, “Dali” (not certain)
1941, New York, Museum of Modern Art, "Techniques of Painting" (possibly exhibited as "Variation on the Angelus by Millet")
1946, Boston, The Institute of Modern Art, Four Spaniards : Dali, Gris, Miro, Picasso (exhibited as "The Angelus (exact title unknown)")
1947, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, “Print Club of Cleveland-Salvador Dalí: An Exhibition”
1965, New York, Gallery of Modern Art, “Salvador Dalí, 1910-1965”
1996, Barcelona, La Pedrera, “Dalí. Arquitectura”
1996, Barcelona, Fundacio Caixa de Catalunya, “Dalí. Arquitectura”
1998, Liverpool, Tate Gallery, “Dali: A Mythology”
1999, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, "Dali Exhibition 1999"
1999, Shinjuku(Tokyo), Mitsukoshi Museum of Art, "Dali Exhibition 1999"
2004, Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, “Dalí. Cultura de masses”
2004, Barcelona, CaixaForum, “Dalí. Cultura de masses”
2005, Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, “Salvador Dalí and Mass Culture”
2005, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dalí Museum, “Salvador Dalí and Mass Culture”
2006, Tokyo, Ueno Royal Museum, “Dalí Centennial Retrospective”
2009, Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, "Salvador Dalí : Liquid Desire"
2015, San Francisco, Walt Disney Family Museum, "Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination"
2016, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dali Museum, "Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination
2019, Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, "Millet and Modern Art: Van Gogh to Dali"