Burning Giraffe by Salvador Dali is an oil painting from 1937 that has been described as a premonition of war during the Spanish Civil War and later of World War II. The painting depicts the fluidity of time, which is a recurring theme in Dali’s work. In this painting, the giraffe is “the masculine cosmic apocalyptic monster,” according to Dali.
Dali reused the image in a later work titled Burning Giraffes in Brown or Giraffe Avignon. He was inspired by other Surrealist artists who often included dream-like and unnerving objects in their artwork. As one of the leading Surrealist artists, Dali joined this movement in 1929.
The Burning Giraffe is now on display at Kunstmuseum Basel, where art lovers can appreciate its uniqueness and beauty. Looking at this piece of art allows us to visualize history through Salvador Dali’s eyes during one of Spain’s most difficult times. With the careful selection of his motifs, colors, and forms he illustrated his thoughts on sado-masochism and entropy with artistic imagination while correspondingly displaying significant eras’ characteristics.