Salvador Dali

Oiseau [Bird] (1928)

About this artwork

This was painted in Cadaqués, a fishing village where the Dalí family had a summer house. The painting literally incorporates the beach: sand is used on the left, while the patch on the right is coarser shingle. The subject of this painting seems to be indebted to André Breton, leader of the Surrealist group. Breton recounted a dream in which he and some friends were swimming in the sea. They startled two birds and one of the group shot at the birds as they flew overhead. By the time they had been washed ashore the birds had changed into creatures resembling a cow or horse.

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  • title: Oiseau [Bird]
  • accession number: GMA 3883
  • artist: Salvador DaliSpanish (1904 - 1989)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Animals Death Surrealism
  • date created: 1928
  • measurements: 49.00 x 60.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund 1995
  • copyright: © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS, 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

Dalí was born in Catalonia, Spain. After being thrown out of art school in Madrid in 1923, he experimented with a range of styles. By 1927 he began to move away from Cubism towards Surrealism. He was a keen follower of developments in surrealist art and literature and met Miró, a fellow Catalan and Surrealist, in 1927. A talented self-publicist, Dalí cultivated his eccentric personality as carefully as his meticulous, academic technique, inspired by the Old Masters. In addition to being a painter, sculptor, graphic artist and designer, Dalí collaborated in the making of the first surrealist film, 'Un chien andalou' in 1929.