Sunday, 11 May 2014

Odalinata . . .

As today is the 110th anniversary of the birth of one of my heroes, Salvador Dali, I thought I'd mark the occasion by investigating the appearance of dragonflies in his work, but in truth was a bit disappointed.
Whereas beautifully painted (and lifelike) butterflies featured often in his major works, and swarms of ants symbolized mortality in his surrealist paintings, and even the humble fly appeared quite often, I'm afraid dragonflies featured only in loose sketches and watercolour studies, indeed these were all I could find :

Untitled Watercolour 1949
Untitled Watercolour 1926

Untitled Lithograph 1975

This watercolour was made as part of the publicity
for the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage and featured
a giant dragonfly, though the film itself only
featured Raquel Welsh.

Vanishing Face (featuring dragonflies)
Lithograph 1980
One of his final images as frailty caused him to cease
 working in 1983 and he died six years later.

So a shame they don't feature in his masterworks as his fascination with metamorphosis would have made them an ideal subject I would have thought, but their life is aptly surreal in its own way I suppose.



  1. Is that a Dragon with a huge set of knackers in the last image or a pair of cherries from a fruit machine? Either symbolising the struggle or the gamble that is life.

    1. Your assessment of surrealist symbolism is very perceptive John, but I rather think Dali just thought it was funny to draw giant knackers on things :-)