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Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)
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Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War)

Salvador Dalí, Spanish, 1904 - 1989

Made in Spain, Europe


Oil on canvas

39 5/16 x 39 3/8 inches (99.9 x 100 cm)

© Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 269, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Dalí combined dreamlike themes with a meticulous painting technique to generate compelling portrayals of the unconscious mind. This gruesome composition imagined an impending historical event: the bloody civil war that broke out in Spain, the artist’s native country, in July 1936.

The desecration of the human body was a preoccupation of the Surrealists, and of Dalí in particular. Here, a monstrous figure of uncertain gender grimaces as it tears itself apart.


With Julien Levy Gallery, New York, by 1937 (on consignment from Peter Watson?) [1]; purchased from the artist by Stendahl Art Galleries, Los Angeles, November 4, 1937 [2]; sold to Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles, 1937; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. See 1937 exhibition loan label on reverse of painting. 2. Stendahl purchased the painting out of the Carnegie International exhibition (see Stendahl Gallery records, Archives of American Art, microfilm reel #2722, frame 130). See also the Arensbergs' provenance notes dated December 1, 1951 (PMA, Arensberg Archives).

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