Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln

"Gala Nude Looking at the Sea Which at 18 Metres Appears the President Lincoln" (1975, Theatre-Museum of Salvador Dali in Figueres) is one of the most innovative paintings by Salvador Dali and certainly one of the most memorable double images created be the artist.


And, I must admit, it is one of the most forged images, which, based on the logic and statements of Salvador himself, is not so bad: "if a painting is faked, Dali liked to repeat, then it is worth it!"


But let's get down to the masterpiece itself. To do this, you need to stand exactly in the middle of the space of the Theatre-museum stage, so that you have a stall with "Rainy Taxi" behind you, and the backdrop to the ballet "Labyrinth" is right in front of your eyes.

In this case, right above you will be the famous "geodesic" dome of the Museum, and if you take the trouble to look at your feet, you will find with trepidation and even some fear that you are standing right on the tombstone, under which, in fact, Dali is buried. Here is such a point, which, according to Dali, is the center of the universe and "the beginning of all beginnings."

So, we took the right position, imbued with the solemnity of the moment - and now we will turn exactly 90 degrees to the left, raise our eyes, and in the opening of the central of the three arches we will immediately see "Gala Nude" - a monumental work (oil on plywood panel), the dimensions of which are really impressive : 420 X 318 cm.

|In the center of the painting we see the beloved wife of the artist, dressed only in a constant bow in her hair - a gift from her friend, Coco Chanel. Gala, leaning her elbows on the windowsill, admires the extraordinary beauty of the sunset, which reminds us of the crimson twilight of another wonderful painting by Dali - "Christ of St. John of the Cross".

The waist of Gala is thin, the buttocks are curly and tight, which proves: the artist still worships his Muse - as he did all his life. Now let's do a simple trick: take out a smartphone, turn on the camera and point it at the picture. Do so, and I assure you - you will inevitably give out an exclamation of amazement mixed with delight, for the camera will show you a man's face!

"Pushkin!" - most of us will immediately exclaim - and they will be mistaken, because this is still not Alexander Sergeevich, but another, albeit no less famous person: the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln.

In 1973, Scientific American published an article by researcher and cyberneticist Leon Harmon entitled "Face Recognition", in which the features of visual perception and identification of a person from an image were investigated.

As one of the illustrations, Harmon used the later famous image of a digitized photograph of Lincoln, obtained on completely antediluvian computer equipment and consisting of very large pixels. Note, this happened back in the era when there was not even the very term "pixel" - indeed, Leon Harmon was a genius!

Salvador Dali, who always closely followed all the news in the world of science, of course, could not ignore this remarkable study. Taking as a basis the digitized portrait of Lincoln, obtained by Leon Harmon, he created his "Gala Nude Looking at the Sea..."

Actually, the artist painted two paintings, differing in minor details. We are admiring one of them now, and the second is in the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg (Florida, USA). By the way, in order to make it easier for us to solve this double image, Dali placed both images separately in two square pixels - the artist, as we can see, was not at all going to complicate our life.


And, as a bonus, a little more information: looking at this picture, we see nothing more than money! By saying this, I do not mean at all that the painting costs money, and quite a lot - no!


The fact is that Harmon, to obtain his pixelated image, took as a basis a portrait of Lincoln, taken on February 9, 1864 by photographer Matthew Brady and subsequently used for the image on a five-dollar bill!




So here, as we can see, Salvador Dali, who bore the nickname Avida Dollars ("Money-lover") and was proud of it, remains true to himself - which, however, in no way diminishes the artistic merit of this wonderful work, created at the junction of science and art. In 1977, Dali, who decided to consolidate his success and, of course, make more money, released a limited number (only 1240 copies) of lithographs called "Lincoln in Dalivision:

The lithographs originally sold for $ 750 and came with a blue case that contained the lenses for easy viewing. It was precisely this lithograph that was destined to become one of the most forged, which was aided by the untidiness in the issues of replicating his works by Dali himself.



A huge number of "prints" from the original limited edition lithographs literally flooded the art world at one time. These days, it is the original lithographs that are very rare at auctions, although the circulation, as we said, was not so small - 1240 copies.

Nevertheless, they do meet, and it is possible to buy it (best of all, with additional confirmation of authenticity based on an examination made by a renowned specialist), for up to $ 20,000.



As for the painting in the Theater-Museum, its price, I believe, would have been $ 40-45 million - if, of course, the Spanish government, to which Dali bequeathed all his movable and immovable property, decided to sell it. However, I hope, yes, I am sure: this will never happen! (Read the original text in Russian)

The authors of the article are Sergei Zakharov and his wife, colleague and comrad-in-arms, Tatiana - writers and tour guides. You can learn more about our books and buy them in the "Where and what to read" section. We invite you to our tours of the Dali museums in Catalonia. Revealing secrets, debunking myths, telling the truth - we promise full and deep immersion in the amazing Universe of Salvador Dali! 

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