Living Still Life
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||125 cm × 160 cm (49.64 in × 63.76 in)|
|Location||Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida|
Living Still Life, or Nature Morte Vivante (1956) is a hand oil painting on canvas by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí. The painting was originally known as Nature Morte Vivante (which have a double meaning in French: Living Still Life / Dead alive nature) and is considered to be one of Dalí's masterworks. It is his sixth grand masterpiece. Dalí described the work as illustrating "the decomposition of a fruit dish". The painting is a variation of Floris Van Schooten's Table with Food (1617). Schooten's work is rearranged into objects that rotate and float across the piece. While the picture can be termed a still life, Dalí incorporates irony by making it evident that nothing in the image is actually still. Even the knife on the table, for example, although not seemingly moving at all, is interpreted by the human brain to be in motion. The Heisenburg Principle of Uncertainty is referenced in the piece. The mind infers that no everyday object can simply hover in the air and that gravity must be pulling down on it; therefore, the knife must be in a falling motion.
Salvador Dalí had a fascination with perfect spirals and the use of some examples are in this painting, like the cauliflower that looks like a meteor. The shape is a perfect spiral. Another use of the spiral shape is the rhinoceros horn held by a hand. The rhinoceros horn was a symbol of Dalí's and was used in several of his other works. One other spiral shape is the twisting compotier. An allusion to the spiraled double helix shape of the DNA molecule is located in the rails by the ocean on the left hand side of the work.
- Analysis of "Nature Morte Vivante (Still Life Moving Fast)," 1956 at the Salvador Dalí Art Gallery
- Kropf, Joan and Tush, Peter. The Salvador Dalí Docent Training Manual. 2008. Print.
- Kropf, Joan and Tush, Peter. The Salvador Dalí Museum Docent Training Manual. 2008. Print
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