|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
In 1936, Spain was being torn apart by civil war. Dali and Gala had to do without their retreat to Port Lligat. Instead, they traveled around Europe, and spent some time living in Italy. When they stayed in Florence
and Rome, Dali spent some time studying Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. The influence of the Renaissance masters is clearly apparent in the groups of figures he
subsequently used in his paintings in orders to establish multiple images, as in Spain, or The Invention of the Monsters.
The figure of the woman leaning her elbow on a nightstand symbolize the Spanish Civil War. The torso and the face of the female figure are made up of groups of Renaissance warriors, of condottieri, inspired by combat of horsemen done by Leonardo da Vinci. Dali exhibited this painting together with others in a one-man show that he, aided by Gala, organized in February 1939 in the studio where the couple was living on the rue de la Tobe-Issoire in Paris. Friends and society people came to see this exhibition of paranoiac-critical activity, and Dali remembers that the first to arrive and the last to leave was Pablo Picasso, who asked especially to see Spain
Dali wrote in his Secret Life
Throughout all martyrized Spain rose an odor of incense, of the burning flesh of priests, of spiritual quartered flesh, mixed with the powerful scent of the sweat of mobs fornicating among themselves and with Death.”