Leda atomica (1949) by Salvador Dali

Leda atomica - Salvador Dali - 1949

Artwork Information

TitleLeda atomica
ArtistSalvador Dali
Date1949
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions61.1 x 45.3 cm
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationDalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
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About Leda atomica

“Leda Atomica” is a renowned oil on canvas artwork created by the illustrious artist Salvador Dali in 1949. This surrealist portrait measures 61.1 x 45.3 cm and exemplifies the quintessential traits of the Surrealism art movement. The artwork is currently housed at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, Spain. It captures a precise blend of classical mythology with modern scientific concepts, a recurring theme in the works of Salvador Dali.

The artwork presents a woman in an ostensibly classical pose, thought to represent Leda, a figure from Greek mythology who was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. The surreal representation of Leda here is deliberate and meaningful, poised above a pedestal that appears to balance upon books, a checkered floor, and rippling water. Elements of the scene are suspended in a state of careful equilibrium, echoing the concept of atomic structure and the then-contemporary discussions around atomic physics.

In the background, a serene body of water extends to the horizon, meeting a sky that transitions from a warm glow to a more muted blue. To the right, a rocky cliff adds to the desolate landscape. Floating objects, such as a small closed compass and several suspended shells, add to the dreamlike and otherworldly quality that defines Dali’s surrealistic vision. A swan is depicted with wings outstretched, intricately detailed and full of vigor, its head gently resting against the figure of Leda in a moment of subdued intimacy.

The elements within the artwork — like the books, the shells, the pedestal, and the swan itself — are rendered with meticulous attention to detail and an almost hyperrealistic clarity. They further contribute to the sense of stillness and suspended animation that dominates the composition, a hallmark of Dali’s distinctive surrealist style. Overall, “Leda Atomica” reflects an exceptional fusion of myth, science, and artistic technique which Salvador Dali masterfully orchestrated to create a thought-provoking and aesthetically remarkable piece.

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