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Batalla en las nubes (Obra estereoscópica) (Battle in the Clouds [Stereoscopic Work])

  • Date: 
    1979
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    100 x 100 cm
  • Category: 
    Painting
  • Entry date: 
    1990
  • Register number: 
    AS11158
  • Salvador Dalí Bequest, 1990

In science and technology Salvador Dalí found certain pivotal tools with which to put forward new artistic reflections, prompting him to use cutting-edge technical innovations and optical explorations, for instance stereoscopy. The catalyst in this newfound interest would be the works of 17th-century Dutch artist Gerard Dou, whom Dalí discovered at an exhibition held in the Petit Palais in Paris in 1969. After experiments with the Fresnel lens and embossed postcards, Dalí began working with the American physicist Roger de Montebello to adapt the stereoscope with Wheatstone mirrors, applying the technique to large-scale paintings. Consequently, he would use the technique to realise pairs of canvases, whereby the representation of a work would be almost identical, just with different focal points. This can be seen in Battle in the Clouds, a diptych comprising a stereoscopic work, through which the artist explored binocular vision to represent the depth missing from the two-dimensional surface in the painting. Both feature a female figure sat on the ground with her back turned, yet in only one is the battle scene she is observing depicted. On placing both works together and viewing them through a stereoscope, the image that comes back reproduces the visual perception of a third spatial dimension, accounting for Dalí’s explanation that his truly well-painted pictures were the double stereoscopic paintings.

Ruth Gallego Fernández

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