Dalí had an incredible mathematicians mind and has often been compared to Leonardo da Vinci for his all-encompassing intellect and knowledge over an incredible array of subjects.
During the 1940s and 50’s his focus shifted to the natural sciences. The personalities he admired most were Freud and Einstein. During his nuclear mysticism phase, Dalí became interested in DNA structures.
‘Galatea of the spheres,’ is an example of how molecular structure is transformed by an artist into a visual parody, mimicking aesthetically the structure of DNA. It represents his interest in science and theories for the disintegration of the atom.
The structure of DNA fascinated Dalí and like all enquiring minds, he set to work implementing it in his art; he created this artwork during his ‘nuclear mysticism’ period’. It is in effect an abstract portrait of his wife, Gala, her face is visible, created from disconnected spheres, the axis of the canvas disappearing in the distance creating the illusion of three dimensions. The three dimensional holographic image, represents a mix of renaissance art and atomic theory, the artists interest in nuclear physics began around 1945 when the first atomic bomb hit Hiroshima in 1945.
Apparently Dalí wished for this painting to be displayed in the Dalí Theatre museum in Figueras, indeed it remains there til this day. This 1952 oil on canvas painting is a loving and honorable tribute to his wife and muse Gala, who often sat for him.
Galatea is a name from Greek mythology, which alludes to the story of Pygmalion. Pygmalion creates a sculpture and he then falls in love with it. Dalí often referred to his wife Gala by a series of nicknames, Galatea being one of them.