By – Samhitha Dulam
Swans Reflected Elephants! Really!?
Yes, they did in a painting called “Swans Reflecting Elephants” by SALVADOR DALI. This painting is one of the most recognized works by Dali during “The Paranoia-Critical” period.
About the painting:
Titles of paintings by Dali are most confusing, convoluted but “Swans Reflecting Elephants” is not among them and tells us exactly what we are looking. Dali painted Swans Reflecting Elephants in the year 1937.
Dali liked to use double images, and this is one of his most common techniques. Even “Swans Reflecting Elephants” is also painted by the same method where the two images are swans and the elephants. To be clear this work is based on “Surrealism”.
Now many questions arise like what is Surrealism? How can swans and elephants be together? And if you observe, clearly you could find a man on the left side of the painting and then again a question, who is he? What actually is this painting representing or showing us?
Cool!! I will tell you about them as per my understanding.
Firstly, Surrealism is an Avant-garde movement in art and literature which sought to release the creativeness of an unconscious mind just like illustrations made out of hallucinations. Dali used the concept of Surrealism in most of his paintings, letting us create a story of our imagination rather than giving us the entire meaning of a portrait.
Then coming to the bizarre combination of swans and elephants, they didn’t come in contact with each other but here is how the combination was made. The reflections of swans are merged with the trees behind them, reflecting as elephants that is-the reflection of swans as elephants upper part and the reflection of trees as legs of an elephant.
Here comes the most unrecognized part of the painting, the man on the left side of art near the hills, with hands crossed, head bent and seems to be moody/frustrated in his world. As per many assumptions and interpretations, he is none other than Dali.
My Give Away:
Well, as of now, I only told you about the painting. But here is my take away from this unrealistic yet inspirational painting. It isn’t just an illustration of such uncommon combinations. Dali used swans to symbolize purity, peace, elegance, calmness, love, creativity. The elephants, to express the positive energy, wisdom, strength, unity as well as being marked as power and cleverness. The smooth and soft texture gives a feeling of happiness.
I could say that though sometimes we all feel low, frustrated or become so moody just like the man standing. But when we could find the elegance, love, creativity, wisdom, strength, positive energy around us, then whatever you have been, and you are going through will be changed. You could only let go of these things only when you could see the positiveness. You don’t need someone to say something for you to move on when you see all the things by yourself with a little wisdom.
Remember, you will have only you when you are going through pain, and it’s always up to you to look up things and be a powerful person with a lot of wisdom.