The Lugubrious Game

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The Lugubrious Game
Artist Salvador Dalí
Year 1929
Type oil and collage on cardboard
Dimensions 44.4 cm × 30.3 cm (17.5 in × 11.9 in)
Location private collection

The Lugubrious Game (or The Mournful Game) is a part oil painting and part collage on cardboard artwork created by Salvador Dalí in 1929. It displays references to feces (in the form of a man wearing soiled underpants), sexual desire, castration and alludes to the "safety" of masturbation[citation needed]. The name of the painting was given by poet, Paul Éluard.


In 1929, several Surrealists including Paul Éluard and his wife Gala were visiting Dalí at his home in Spain. Upon seeing the Surrealist style painting, they were intrigued by it, which led to Dalí becoming an official member of the movement.

The painting alludes to the specious relationship of specialisation and disintegration. Like many of Dalí's works it is an ironic composition. Lugubrious Game alludes to the divine game of chess which is found to be crumbling on Earth. As we have more and more we soon find we have less and less. Dalí's use of faeces is a textural rendering of this ironic point. It is also an exploding self-portrait and Dalí, as the artist, conceives his world and the world around him falling apart. His work is endemic of the fall which remains a consistent theme of Dalí's work.