"It is mostly with your blood, Gala, that I paint my pictures."
— Salvador Dalí
Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder, 1933 (large image)
“They immediately asked me if it was true that I had just painted a portrait of my wife with a pair of fried chops balanced on her shoulder. I answered yes, except that they we’re not fried, but raw.
Why raw? they immediately asked me. I told them that it was because my wife was raw too.
But why the chops together with your wife? I answered that I liked my wife, and that I liked chops, and that I saw no reason why I should not paint them together.”
The bizarre subject of this painting is a powerful symbol of Dalí’s desire to “devour” his wife, model and muse, whose soul and intellect are fused in perfect harmony with his own.
This exquisitely detailed, hyper-realistic painting, little bigger than a matchbox in size, is a particularly fine example of Dalí’s consummate technical skills, whereby he employs the use of photography as a tool to assist with artistic expression.
Important iconographic elements of the artist’s work are clearly visible in this painting: the landscape of Portlligat, glowing in the warm Mediterranean light achieved with a predominance of ochres, complemented with a wide range of colours applied in small, precise brushstrokes; the lonely figure of a child with a hoop, a self-portrait of Dalí gazing at the artist’s house; the sumptuous quality of the edible items.
Salvador Dalí, Gala, A. Reynolds Morse and Eleanor Morse in Chateau Madrid, New York, 1954.
The Morse couple met Dalí for the first time in 1943. From this first love for the master developed a life-long activity as art collectors. In their time, they became the largest private Dalí collectors in the world, and founders of the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg.