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A contrast to this small picture is the larger and overpowering Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War, painted in 1936. Monstrous fragments of humans – arms, a breast being squeezed by a clawlike hand, a convulsed and screaming head – tower against a desolate sky partly covered with filmy clouds. The rocky terrain in the foreground pullulates with beans, while above one clenched fist a tiny bearded man gazes disconsolately at the scene. One of the most frightful images in the entire history of art, this picture is nonetheless, endowed by Dali's astonishing skill with an unexpected and terrible beauty.

After considerable activity in the fields of stage design, jewellery design, and even shop window decoration, Dali moved to Christian art. His technique is brilliant and his fantasy is magical.

Make sure you know how to pronounce thefollowing words:

Surrealist; Camembert; Catalan; monstrous; Vermeer; Freud


The Persistence of Memory – «Постоянство памяти»

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War – «Мягкая конструкция с вареными бобами: предчувствие гражданской войны»

pullulate – бот. прорастать


I. Read the text. Make sure you understand it. Mark the following statements true or false.

1. In Parish 1926 Dali fell under the influence of Matisse.

2. In the early 1920s Dali produced paintings that recalled the works of his idols Botticelli and Goya.

3. Dali painted terrifying images with tremendous force.

4. The idea of The Persistence of Memory occurred to Dali while he was eating oranges.

5. The Persistence of Memory was first exhibited at the British Museum.

6. The Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War is the most fearful image in the entire history of art.

II. How well have you read? Can you answer the following questions?

1. What does Salvador Dali typify?

2. What was Freud's impact on Dali's creative activity?

3. What did Dali begin producing when he set out on his individual style? What was Dali's desire? What was the result of it?

4. What is Dali's best-known early Surrealist painting? How was this painting termed by the New-York public? Why is this painting disturbing? What is represented in this picture? What is shown in the background?

5. What is depicted in the Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War? What is shown in the foreground? Why is this painting the most frightful image in the entire history of art?

6. When did Dali move to the Christian art?

III. i. Give Russian equivalents of the following phrases:

the Surrealist movement; to experiment with semi-abstract forms; to set out on his individual path; pictures of a quality and brilliance; terrifying images; the magical virtuosity of his draughtsmanship and colour; astonished, horrified and fascinated public; to render with hallucinatory clarity; a Catalan bay; monstrous fragments; against a desolate sky; the history of art; to move to Christian art; magical fantasy.

ii. Give English equivalents of the following phrases:

высокохудожественные произведения; сюрреализм; великолепное мастерство рисунка и цвета; вступить на свой собственный путь; экспериментировать с полуабстрактными формами; изумленные, очарованные зрители; обратиться к христианскому искусству; на фоне «мертвого» неба; передать с удивительной точностью; чарующая фантазия; ужасные образы; искусствоведение.

iii. Make up sentences of your own with the given phrases.

iv. Arrange the following in the pairs of synonyms:

a) frightful; magical; public; desolate; virtuosity;

b) enchanting; barren; terrifying; excellence; people.

IV. Here are descriptions of some of Dali's works of art. Match them up to the titles given below.

1. Monstrous fragments of humans tower against a desolate sky partly covered with filmy clouds.

2. The «wet watches» are disturbing in their destruction of the very idea of time.

a. The Persistence of Memory

b. Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War.

V. Translate the text into English.

Сальвадор Дали воплотил в своем творчестве кульминацию сюрреализма. Алогичность Дали уводила зрителя в область фантазии. Устрашающим ассоциациям художник иногда придавал определенный политический смысл.

Исследователи отмечают два приема в творчестве Дали: либо в абсолютно нереальный пейзаж художник вводит предметы нарочито будничные, либо искажает реальное до какого-либо чудовищного образа.

Во время второй мировой войны центр сюрреализма переместился в Америку, туда переехал и Дали. В 1947 г. с выставки в нью-йоркском музее современного искусства начался католический сюрреализм Дали. Произведения 50-х годов не имеют никакой деформации. Они выполнены на высоком профессиональном уровне («Тайная вечеря», 1955; «Св. Иаков», 1957). Дали также писал картины, в которых он пытался примирить религию и науку.

В 60-е годы сюрреалист стал уступать свои позиции новой волне абстракционизма и новым направлениям авангардизма, прежде всего искусству поп-арта.

VI. Summarize the text.

VII. Topics for discussion.

1. Dali's fantasy and reality.

2. Dali's form and colour.

3. Dali's subject-matters.


Andersen, Wayne, Gauguin’s Paradise Lost, Viking, N.-Y., 1971

Antal, Frederick, Hogaith, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Lnd., 1962

Boeck, Wilhelm and Sabartes, J., Picasso, Abrams, N. -Y., 1955

Breton, Andre, Surrealism and Painting, Harper & Row, N. -Y., 1972

Christensen, Ervin O., A Pictoi lal History of Western Art, Lnd., 1968

Fried lander, Walter F., From David to Delacroix, Schocken, N. -Y., 1968