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The wounded bird (1928)
Analysis: The title of “The Wounded Bird” refers to a Surrealist poem by André Breton called Clair de Terre. The Surrealist movement had begun as a literary one and poetry was still an important and influential medium for surrealist artists. Many works of art were inspired by poems and the artists wrote poems, as Dalí did in later years.
The part of Clair de Terre that this painting represents was a dream: Breton shot a bird that fell into the sea and transformed into a cow before dying. Dalí also interpreted this dream in his painting “The Spectral Cow“, which was painted in the same year as “The Wounded Bird“. References to Breton’s dream can also be seen in “Little Cinders“, where there are many ghostly birds with the same simplistic form as the bird in this painting. This is one of several paintings Dalí completed during 1928 which experimented with the use of mediums other than oil. He had always been experimental in his choice of mediums, once finishing a painting using stems from cherries. Here Dalí has used sand; this gives stronger, more striking appearance against the textured sand.