|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
Portrait of Gala with the Rhinocerotic Symptoms was painted using oil on canvas in 1954. It is another exploration of Dali's theory of the recurring form of the rhinoceros horn, as seen in the 1951 painting Raphaelesque Head Exploding. This theory came from Dali's such study of the 1665 painting called The Lacemaker by Vermeer. In 1955, Dali gave a lecture at the Sorbonne where he put forward his view that The Lacemaker was composed from the repetition of the rhinoceros horn pattern. Dali saw the rhinoceros horn as the "delirium sign", saying there was no better example "in nature of logorithmic sprials than those of the curve of the rhinoceros horn."
In this portrait of Gala, her disembodied face appears over a Spanish bay. The two intense blues of the sky and the sea contrast with the vivid red border that delineates her bust. The curves and lines of her neck and chest are formed by rhinoceros horns that swirl beneath her head. To the left of Gala, one of the cliffs along the coast has also fallen prey to Dali's obsession with the rhinoceros horn. The cliff has disintegrated, but the horns still delineate an overall shape.