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Picture Interpretation - Referat


Vision of Hell 1962
Salvador Dalí

The “Vision of Hell” is painted oil on canvas.
It is a painting of his earlier style, Surrealism for which he is most famous for. Additionally you can recognize his fondness for religion, which he used mainly in the last years of his life. Dalí had the intention to enter the subconscious while he was painting. In his autobiography "The secret life of S. Dalí" he says that he puts his canvas right nearby his bed, so the first and last thing he sees everyday is his actual painting. With this view he painted in his own style about his typical topics and symbols (like: parts of the human body, the sky, blood and non-living objects which are linked to the already mentioned objects). You can find all of these symbols in “Vision of Hell”.
The main colour of the left side is red, the main colour of the right side blue. These to colours make up a great contrast. The left side of the picture portrays hell. The right side of the picture shows us the so-called “Our Lady”, a character who is very often used by Dalí. In this painting it is displayed in an unusual way, because it looks like a teddy bear. Eight forks, which are blurred and arranged in the form of a circle, form the central part of the picture. These forks are piercing a human body, which is very difficult to discover, because it is heavily daubed. Like mentioned before, there is the blood, which is a very important symbol for Dalí and his style. The whole picture is a portrayal of death.
You can barely see the stretched eye of the pierced human body. But if you take a clear look at it, you can discover an object, which seems to be an abnormal opened human eye on one side, but on the other side it looks like a strange aggressive creature straight out of
a nightmare. This eye is the main object in the whole painting. At first you don’t see it, but if you do so, you automatically think, that it is the central image. There are several interpretations about this eye. For example it may be the gazing eye of a dead person. It could be a tortured eye, squashed in two slabs of wood, which are furnished with metal spikes. That would be a metaphor for a nightmare, in which the dreaming person has “visions of hell”. It may be the case that this object is a creature from hell and also the eye of the blurred person.
I like this picture very much, basically because of its huge variety of possibilities of interpretations. I think the style which Dalí used is great. For me he is a master of all the famous artists and the master of surrealism.

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