Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ideal Woman

Since before I was born my parents have had this Salvadore Dali print hanging in their home—“Leda Atomica.” You can read a description of this painting here

One interpretation of this painting is that this is Dali’s rendition of the Annunciation. Dali was deeply religious (though also a VERY odd character). He has many paintings with religious subject matter, so it would not be a stretch to think this has the deeper religious interpretation suggested.

I have always adored this painting. I have loved it for its beauty. I have delighted in its ethereal subject. As a child, not understanding its meaning or depth, I admired it for the ideal portrayal of a woman’s figure. I wanted to be like her when I grew up. I am extremely appreciative of this woman’s curves. Dali has brought beauty to the natural shape of a woman. On days in which I feel badly about my own shape, I remember this painting and think this is Dali’s portrayal of an ideal woman—curvaceous, medium build, normal breasts.

The woman in the painting is his wife, Gala. In this painting, Dali puts Gala on a pedestal. She was always on a pedestal in his mind. In other paintings Dali portrays the Virgin Mary with Gala’s face. It is no insult to the Holy Mother. Gala was his ideal woman and therefore, Mary ought to have the face of the ideal woman (Blessed Theotokos, we magnify you).

Today I wanted to share with you this vision of beauty—the ideal woman—so that you might also identify a piece of yourself in her.

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