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It is hard to do justice to the imaginative insanity of Salvador Dali, but Angela Wenzel does a pretty good job for this volume in the Adventures in Art series. "The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Salvador Dali" introduces young readers to the Surrealist artist who knew how to put himself in the limelight in ways other than his paintings. One of things that Wenzel does is that she provides some of Dali's own comments about his art, such as the 1937 painting "Sleep," where a heavy face that looks like the film director Luis Bunuel is propped by my crutches and explaining the link between the writings of Sigmund Freud on dreams and Dali's painting "The Burning Giraffe" (1936-37), where drawers are coming out of a tall woman's body. Also included are the famous melting clocks of "The Persistence of Memory" (1931), the fried eggs of "The Sublime Moment" (1938), and the multiple pictures within "The Metamorphosis of Narcissus" (1937). What I especially like about this volume is how it looks at the origins of some of these paintings. For "The Endless Enigma" (1938) we have the original sketches of the six different paintings that Dali hid in the finished painting, while a postcrd showing an African village became a face turned on its side in "Paranoid Faces" (1931). Then there was the "Portrait of Mrs. Isabel Styler-Tas" (1945), which Dali based on Piero della Francesca's "Battista Sforza and Federico de Montefeltro" (circa 1465) by way of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's "Winter," a marvelous example of how the old becomes new in the hands of a talented artist.Read more ›
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