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Eggs on the plate without the plate (1932)
Oeufs sur le plat sans le plat
Analysis: Dalí tells us that this work was inspired by an intra-uterine memory. He says that one day, after vigorously rubbing his eyes, he became fascinated with the brilliant yellow, orange, and ochre colors he saw. As a result, he says, he had a flashback to his mother’s womb, and created this paranoiac-critical explanation of the experience.
Suspended on a string, in the center of the work is a single egg yolk, which Dalí said represented himself in the womb. Below that, the two eggs on the plate (curious, that plate, look at the title again) were painted with a shimmering yolk. These represented the piercing gaze of Gala Dalí, whom Dalí had met in 1929. At the time, she had been the darling of the Surrealist movement, not to mention the wife of Paul Eluard, the French poet. It was said that her gaze could pierce through walls, and Dalí is paying her homage here.
A large, cubist building dominates the scene, while other objects are attached to the wall facing the eggs. First is a small, dripping watch, a continuation of the theme of the melting watches done in The Persistence of Memory. Above that is a phallic ear of corn, representing male sexuality. Just to the left of the ear of corn is a window in the building, and standing in it, looking out through another window, are the father and son figures that were originally painted in The First Days of Spring, some three years ago. Off in the distance are the rocks of Dalí’s homeland.