About Salvador Dali Mug – Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea (1976)
This ceramic Salvador Dali Mug by The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, features the iconic work by the Spaniard Surrealist artist, Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko) made in 1976. Painted during the time, Dalí was living in the United States, this painting is inspired by a monochromatic image of Abraham Lincoln found in Leon D. Harmon’s article The Recognition of Faces” published by the Scientific American issue (Vol. 229. No.5.. ) of November 1973. Dalí was influenced by Harmon’s computerized reproduction of Abraham Lincoln’s portrait which demonstrated the low quantity of information needed to represent a recognizable individual’s face. The article fascinated Salvador Dalí for its exploration on spectatorship and how reading an image can be different from what the viewer perceives to what is actually viewed. More details on Salvador Dali Mug Gala Contemplating The Mediterranean Sea (1976):
- Dimensions: ø 3″ x 4.2″ H inches (est)
- Weight: 1.5 lbs (est)
- Color: White, Multicolored
- Materials: Ceramic.
- Original Artwork: Salvador Dalí, Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko), 1976. Oil on canvas, 99 1/4 in x 75 1/2 in. The Dalí Museum, Florida.
- © Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL 2017. Photo © Joseph Siciliano USA, 2016
About Salvador Dalí’s Artwork:
Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko), 1976.
This explicit and long title provides a perfect description of the original painting (oil and collage on canvas). Standing close, we see Gala with her back turned to us, looking toward the rising Mediterranean sun. Represented with a heavy impasto application, Dalí depicts a vision of Christ crucified ascending into heaven seen from above (Christ’s head is the glowing sun). But when we stand further back, we see that the area of the sky, behind Gala’s figure, is shaped like a cross. However, as the title suggests, if we stand further back we see that the shapes and small color fields around Gala and the background of the artwork turn into a Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. As the title suggests, Dalí made this work as a homage to the Leading Abstract Expressionist artist Mark Rothko, who began to explore to surrealism at the beginning stages of his career. Rothko abandoned figurative art for color-field, value relationships, and basic geometric shapes, as an exploration of the sublime, immersive experience of an artwork. Dalí’s multiple blocks of colors in the varying progression of hues ending in a dark perimeter is evocative of the meditative color fields found in Rothko’s works. Scholars interrelate the references to Gala’s beauty, the Crucified image of Christ, the portrait of the assassinated American president Abraham Lincoln and the homage to Mark Rothko (who committed suicide) as a reflection on life, beauty, art, and mortality.