Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: A Premonition on Civil War is a painting done in 1936, by the star of Surrealism, Salvador Dali.It hangs among other paintings of the Surrealist movement in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.I was drawn to this work by the strangeness of it.It shows a large human-like mass of body parts looming over you in front of an ominous, foreboding sky-scape.It appeared very mysterious to me, and that is why I had the interest to research it further.
I wanted to know, what influenced these strange forms…what is the significance of boiled beans…who is that man pictured in the lower left…and in general…what’s going on here?! Salvador Dali is a fascinating enigma.Born in Spain on May 11,1904, he was surrounded by women growing up.There are a few specific instances in his early life which Dali names as causes for his mental problems.Nine months before he was born, Dali had an older brother pass away at two years of age.
This brother’s name was also Salvador, and his picture hung on the wall for years after the second Salvador was born.It was because of this that he always thought of himself as “the replacement child”.Another traumatizing incident in his life was the passing away of his mother in 1921.This time period reflected a great turning point in his artwork. (Goff, 21) In October of 1921, Dali left home to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando.
Atfirst, Dali secluded himself and produced so many artworks that he barely had room for them in his room.His professors were amazed at his talent.Eventually, Dali came out of this seclusion and this begins a time period where he meets many people who will influence his life and consequently his artwork. (Goff, 30) One of the great influences on not only Dali, but also all artists of the Surrealist movement (which Dali officially joins in the summer of 1929) was Sigmund Freud (Goff, 8).Freud b…