Category Archives: Art Gallery

The Hallucinogenic Toreador

Artist: Salvador Dalí
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: c. 1970

Dali’s paintings tell stories, and this painting is a story of a toreador (bullfighter) and his love for the Venus, both strongly representing masculinity and femininity, respectively.  But their love can never be fulfilled, because the toreador dies, as does the bull (pictured near the lower left).  Continue reading The Hallucinogenic Toreador

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Building More Stately Mansions

Artist: Aaron Douglas
Medium: oil on canvas board
Date: c. 1944

Building More Stately Mansions was a study for a larger work Douglas painted while teaching at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. It symbolizes the labor of black men and women. Their active figures are silhouetted against a utopian background, while concentric bands of muted color suggest the continuum of history and knowledge. The implied passage of time links the builders of pyramids, temples, and churches to those of modern skyscrapers and anticipates the intellectual and artistic achievements of African Americans in the future.

Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Artist: Salvador Dalí
Medium: oil on canvas
Date: c. 1937

Metamorphosis of Narcissus is Dalí’s interpretation of the Greek myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was a youth of great beauty who loved only himself and broke the hearts of many lovers. The gods punished him by letting him see his own reflection in a pool. He fell in love with it, but discovered he could not embrace it and died of frustration. Relenting, the gods immortalized him as the narcissus (daffodil) flower.  Continue reading Metamorphosis of Narcissus