Emblematic of Dalí’s emerging Nuclear Mysticism, this large painting was the sixth in the series of monumental history canvases Dalí initiated in 1948, and it is the first to depart from their strictly religious subjects. Taking five months to prepare and paint, the composition is a post-atomic variation on Dutch artist Floris Van Schooten’s (1590-1655) Table with Food (1617). Dalí’s painting is shattered into individual objects that float and rotate in space, disintegrating yet held in a suspended balance. This process has also been termed corpuscular, describing how Dalí breaks down the composition into smaller particles.
This concept of space-time is illustrated in the halted motion and spatial separation of the objects in the painting. While it may appear chaotic initially because of the multitude of disparate objects, for the overall composition the objects obey a greater mathematical order derived from the golden section. Dalí was fascinated by The Geometry of Art and Life, a study of esthetic proportions by the Romanian mathematician, Matila Ghyka. Based on the golden section, these proportions define Dalí’s arrangements of objects, in turn providing a greater aesthetic unity to the contained chaos.
1956, New York, Carstairs Gallery, “Salvador Dalí”
1958, New York, Parish Art Museum, “Dalí-Second Collection of Jewels Paintings Sketches”
1965, New York, Gallery of Modern Art, “Salvador Dalí, 1910-1965”
1998, Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol Museum of Art, “Dali at the Warhol”
1999, Shinjuku(Tokyo), Mitsukoshi Museum of Art, "Dali Exhibition 1999"
1999, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, "Dali Exhibition 1999"
2004, Venezia, Palazzo Grassi, "Dali Retrospective"
2005, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Dali Retrospective"
2006, Tokyo, Ueno Royal Museum, “Dalí Centennial Retrospective”
2007, St. Petersburg, Fl., Salvador Dalí Museum, “Dalí and the Spanish Baroque”
2014, Sao Paulo, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, "Salvador Dali"
2014, Rio de Janeiro, Centro Cultura Banco do Brasil, "Salvador Dali"
2015, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dali Museum, “Dali & da Vinci: Minds, Machines & Masterpieces”
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"
2016, Tokyo, National Art Center, “Salvador Dalí”
2016, Kyoto, Kyoto Municipal Museum, “Salvador Dalí”
2017, London, Royal Academy of the Arts, "Dalí/Duchamp"
2018, St. Petersburg, The Dalí Museum, "Dalí/Duchamp"
2019, St. Petersburg, The Dalí Museum, "Visual Magic: Dalí's Masterworks in Augmented Reality"