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Salvador Dali could not see how the Nazi troops burst into their native France. He left for the USA with his wife, leaving his favorite places, realizing with pain and bitterness that everything will be destroyed and broken.
The horror of war, fear, bloodshed overwhelmed the mind of the artist. Everything that was cute and expensive for many years was trampled, burned and torn to pieces in an instant. It seemed that all dreams, all plans were buried alive under a fascist boot.
In the United States, Dali was waiting for success, recognition, his life there was very happy and eventful, but when the artist sailed on a ship leaving France, he did not know this yet. Each nerve was taut, like a string, his emotions demanded an exit and, right there, on the steamer Dali, he set about painting “The Face of War” (1940).
This time he stepped back from his usual manner, the picture was painted extremely simply and intelligibly. She screamed, she burst into consciousness, she shook in horror all who contemplated her.
Against the backdrop of a scorched, lifeless desert, one human head is depicted, which is enveloped in a grimace of horror and endless suffering. Leather-covered, hairless skull - a vivid symbol of war.
The eye sockets and twisted mouth repeat this nightmare many times. Skulls, skulls, skulls, as well as inhuman horror - that’s all that war brings to everyone who gets in its way. There is no life near the war, and in itself it is nightmarish and dead.
Numerous snakes are born from the head and eat it. They look more like vile worms, but their mouths are open and, it seems, even now their evil hiss is heard.
The contemplator of the picture is not an outside observer, as if he is here, only looking at the nightmarish face from the cave. This feeling reinforces the handprint in the corner of the picture.
Dali, as if, wants to call to reason - now that you are undercover, in a cave, think about whether to go where there is only a lifeless mask of death, whether it is worth starting wars that devour your beginners, who bring endless suffering and are doomed to terrible death.
Flight Over City Picture