Salvador Dali. Painting Premonition of Civil War, 1936

Premonition of Civil War – a prophetic painting by Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali. Painting Premonition of Civil War, 1936
Salvador Dali. Painting Premonition of Civil War, 1936

Premonition of Civil War is a painting by the famous Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí (1904-1989). Created in 1936, it became a harbinger of terrible events in the author’s homeland. Plot – the body tears itself apart in a fit of madness. Its individual parts are fighting among themselves: an ugly head with a face twisted in torment, a chest and a leg trying to escape from the captivity of twisted hands with blackened hands. The eerie structure rests on a cabinet that is unexpected for a deserted landscape, beans are scattered on the ground – the food of the poor.

Author: Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).

Year of writing: 1936.

Size: 100 x 99 cm

Style: Surrealism.

Genre: Allegory.

Technique: Oil painting.

Material: Canvas.

Location: Philadelphia Art Museum.

Salvador Dali is one of the most eccentric artists of the 20th century.

Fantastic, great, crazy, uncontrollable, narcissistic genius, an icon of surrealism, a link between two worlds – the real and the irrational. His images seem to be splashed out from the dark depths of the subconscious.

The alternative title of the painting is “Soft construction with boiled beans (premonition of civil war)”. It is written in a surreal manner characteristic of Salvador Dali. The work, filled with symbols and allegories, opens the anti-war theme in the master’s work and vividly echoes the famous painting by Pablo Picasso “Guernica” (1937).

The scene of the action is a gloomy lifeless desert

Into which the Ampurdan valley, native to the artist, has become. An ominous thundercloud in the sky is heating up the atmosphere. A square monster, shaped like the outlines of Spain on a geographical map, is an obvious allusion to the situation in a country that has split into two hostile camps, a portrait of a people in a state of fratricidal war. The non-existent monster is embodied on the canvas with photographic accuracy: this fits well into the concept of the “paranoid-critical” method, which involves fixing the smallest nuances of delusional hallucinations.

Not without Dali’s favorite motif – a crutch, which is played by a deformed foot. Scattered beans are a symbol that causes controversy: either the future garnish for pieces of bloody flesh, or the horror of a little man before the apocalypse.

The undoubted merit of the picture is its name, which accurately expresses the state of vague anxiety, the feeling of an imminent catastrophe. Many researchers believe that the second half of the title (“Premonition of Civil War”) appeared after the start of the war in Spain, although the author of the work argued otherwise. The picture inspired Yuri Shevchuk, the leader of the rock group DDT, to create the song of the same name.