Surrealism Of The Temptation Of Saint Anthony Essay

Surrealism Of The Temptation Of Saint Anthony Essay

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During the period between World War I and World War II, many people decided that rationale had created the destruction left behind from the war and that it was time to rely on the subconscious as a way to analyze the world. These people became known as Surrealists. One of the most famous surrealist artists was Salvador Dalí. Dalí’s piece The Temptation of Saint Anthony is a prime example of Surrealism.
Surrealist paintings are described as dreamlike and fantastical. Much of Dalí’s paintings were images he had dreamed up. He said that he would paint what almost seem like photographs from his dreams. Dalí took Sigmund Freud’s idea that dreams are symbolic. Objects can symbolize something as well as take on a pun on the word. Much of the objects in Dalí’s paintings symbolize sexual desires that are expressed in dreams because society condemns them. The Temptation of Saint Anthony has many symbols including sexual symbols that make it dreamlike.
Surrealism is expressed in the absurd objects that are dreamlike yet have an explicit meaning. In the bottom corner of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony is seen trying to ward off the temptations the horse and the elephants bring. These physical temptations symbolize the mental temptations Saint Anthony dealt with. The horse, leading, symbolizes strength and sensual desires/pleasures. Following the horse is the elephant that brings the Cup of Desire and a naked woman. The gold cup and woman represent sexual desires as well...

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