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The Hallucinogenic Toreador

Salvador Dali

The Hallucinogenic Toreador

Salvador Dali
  • Date: 1968 - 1970
  • Style: Neoclassicism, Surrealism
  • Period: Classic Period (1941-1989)
  • Genre: symbolic painting
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Dimensions: 400 x 300 cm

Dali illustrates his passion for bullfighting in The Hallucinogenic Toreador, his wife Gala, however, did not. Her face is pictured in the top left corner of the piece, with a look of condemnation, illustrating her hatred for the practice. The statue of Venus de Milo is seen 28 times in the painting, which is not an innocuous addition. In order to see the face of the toreador, you must look past the first illustration of the statue. The face lies in the second Venus de Milo. Upon closer inspection, the breasts of the statue make up the nose of the bullfighter, and their dresses make up his red scarf, and white shirt, tied with a green necktie. When the painting was first exhibited in New York City, it was accompanied by an illustration labeled “how to see the toreador,” which gave explicit instructions on how to see the hidden image of the toreador in the painting.

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