Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening depicts tranquil and peaceful scenery–a calm sea with a beautifully painted sky just before sunrise. Amongst this peace is the chaotic image one initially sees.

Dali offered a small explanation to his painting from 1944 in 1962:

“[It was intended] to express for the first time in images Freud’s discovery of the typical dream with a lengthy narrative, the consequence of the instantaneousness of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. Thus, as a bar might fall on the neck of a sleeping person, causing them to wake up and for a long dream to end with the guillotine blade falling on them, the noise of the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala.”

A pomegranate usually symbolizes fertility from which, in the painting, sprouts a fish which spews a tiger followed by another tiger. The tigers are thought to symbolize a bee’s body because they are yellow with black stripes. The bayonet which is next to the body of the woman symbolizes the bee’s sting, which Dali mentions in his explanation; it is the bayonet that will awaken the woman, Gala, from her otherwise peaceful sleep (Freud’s Influence). The elephant in the painting is simply a distorted version of Bernini’s Elefantino sculpture in Rome carrying an obelisk.

The pomegranate between the two floating droplets of water is thought to symbolize Venus because the shadow it casts is that of a heart-shaped shadow, but it could also symbolize fertility as mentioned above. A bee in a painting usually symbolizes the Virgin. It may be that the tigers are going to attack the woman, who is their mother, but just before this happens, the bayonet, the stinger, is there to wake her (Zuk & Zuk).

Photo Courtesy of The Official Blog of Park West Gallery


November 20, 2012. Uncategorized.

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