Review of The happy unicorn by Salvador Dali from Bernie Quigley

Bernie Quigley has reviewed the artwork The happy unicorn by Surrealist artist Salvador Dali
See all reviews of this piece
The happy unicorn by Salvador Dali

Submit Your Comment

Parthalon Flyingsnake DeCoursy Considers the Unicorn by Bernie Quigley on 2005-06-08

What is interesting here is that the Unicorn heads to left of frame - points to the inner life, like Whistler's Mother - the Unicorn is an Aquarian harbinger - mentioned in William Butler Yeats' story of prophecy, The Coming of the Magi, in which the Aquarian messiah is born as a Unicorn to a prostitute in a slum in Paris. Much of what Dali considers after WW II relates to the work of C.G. Jung and the alchemist symbols and philosophers of old - Yeats is in this school as well - he tapped into the alchemists and Jung learned from him and his friends. The Alchemical Rose is central to the story mentioned of Yeats. It is central to many of Dali's later paintings. The duality seen by the Surrealists andvanced in Dali's lone path when he left the group - in the Surrealists' world the duality was real/surreal. In Dali's it was real world/Land of the Dead. This is more akin the the Tibetan Buddhists view and the alchemists view. What plagues the Surrealists is that their dream cannot be understood or is misunderstood, perhaps because hey did not take the dream path forward where it would lead them (most notably, like Dante). But Dali did and his pictures can be understood coherently as archetypes - standard dream symbols which relate to other dreams and dreamers, perhpas to others in space/time. That is, they appear, in my mind, to appear to relate to things that had not yet happened in this lifetime - the dream can only be understood in the future when others have had the same dream. The grand piano, for example. It is a common dream today and the oppressed and silent fellow who appeared out of the water in England known as the Piano Man draws pictures of Grand Piano. Likewise, Willa Cather wrote of Grand Piano at an earlier time as the symbol of Psyche, love and the life of play and joy ("The Bohemian Girl). The Land of the Dead is a space/time condition in which few could advnace. Its time sequence goes both forward and back but does not stand still as it does in the real world. This picture, like much of Dali's world after 1930 is Aquarian prophecy. Parthalon Flyingsnake DeCoursy.