|Painting Name||The First Days of Spring|
|Painter Name||Salvador Dali|
|Size||49.5 cm × 64 cm (19.5 in × 25.2 in)|
|Current Location||Salvador Dalí Museum St. Petersburg Florida|
This is one of the earliest surrealist paintings from Salvador Dali. It was produced in 1929 when Dali was around 25 years old. He had completed his short experiments with Cubism and was getting allured towards the Surrealism which he expanded largely in his later life.
The First Days of Spring Analysis
There is a large, endless grey platform spreading on all sides visible in the scene. In the middle, the platform lowers itself two steps on the left side.
Normal, natural, abnormal, unnatural, dreamy…all types of elements are put on this big plain in arbitrary manner. Some resembles to the real life natural objects, on the other some are very bizarre and somewhat nightmarish. For example, a feminine figure sitting on the lower left side on whose shoulder is grieving a suited man, seems a bit terrifying to see as her face is replaced with weird, hairy ear-like part. From it comes out many black dots resembling to flies. The man griving on her shoulder looks sad, gloomy and mourning. In his hands are holding a type of pot. Behind them is a big genre-painting of a happy crowd. There seems a little bit of contrast of emotions in that part of the painting.
On the right, is vase like scuplture with a fish’s face coming out of it. The peak of the scuplture is covered with grassy substance. We can see numbers like 10, 10, 2 and 11, 2 ,4 on it.
Going further right is sculpture of geometric shape. The topmost square holds an unfinished bust. The hard bubble hanging above the head captivates random objects like bird’s head, a two pointed pencil with different color on each side, a suited man with a stick and black shadow and a deer-like figure.
Just below the bubble, is another face closing its eyes shut. At the place of its skull is depicted a little boy’s face. On its nose sits a giant locust. Face with locust’s depiction is also visible in Dali’s another painting The Great Masturbator.
On the far right is a girl giving a hat-like object to the elder brown-suited man with white beard. Their shadows are sharp, but girl’s shadow doesn’t cast according to her posture of outstretched hand.
On the left side of the dreamy bubble is a scene of two men. Both are suited and one is standing over another pulling his hair backwards. The man sleeping on the ground’s shadow isn’t casted on the ground. Going parallel with the steps of the plain, at the far distance comes two figures which seems to be a man and a pet.
At the middle of the painting, on the steps is put a portrait photo of a little kid. Going on the left side of the steps, comes a graffiti-like design which is met by the black flies coming out of the head of the faminie figure in the foreground.
The last figure on the left side is a man sitting alone on a stool, facing opposite direction than the viewer.
Portrayal of Father-son Relationship
Dali’s many surrealist paintings are un-interpretable. They are purely outlandish and very hard to interpret successfully. Even if various people comes up with their interpretations, getting the consensus among the critics and art-community is similarly hard.
One such interpretation is that the painting reflects Dali and his father’s bittered relationship during the time. Dali was under pressure of career making and his father was, allegedly, disappointed with Dali’s career choice and bizarre behavior. The painting is said to be the reflection of Dali’s ongoing feelings and his desire to mend the relationship.
The grieving man on the feminine figure shows his sadness and the happy painting behind them is his desire to be happy again.
We see repeated appearance of a child and a fatherly figure. On the far right, the girl is trying to make the elderly person happy by helping to get his hat, or whatever that thing is. The second head beside the half bust is also depicted with a child in his head. The steps holds a portrait of children. The fighting men could be said as the portrayal of Dali’s agony. The lonely man on far left sitting on a tool is said to be portrayal of Dali’s indignant father.
Still, some objects aren’t defined or explained in this interpretation.
This one of the earliest surrealist work by Salvador Dali is currently in showcase of Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida.