Salvador Dalí

study of/for galatea of the spheres

c1952
oil on canvas
Inventory number 2061
Galatea of the spheres is a striking portrait of Dalí’s wife and muse Gala. The Madonna-like face dematerialises in a matrix of spheres of atomic particles, suspended in space within the greater universe. This renowned painting is an indication of Dalí’s fascination with nuclear physics. Dalí described the atom as his ‘favourite food for thought’ and he believed that the divine mysteries of life could be unlocked by science. 

In addition, the name Galatea in the artwork’s title hints at Dalí’s interest in mythology and the Renaissance period of art. Galatea is a serene nymph found in Greek mythology. In the story Pygmalion, a sculptor falls in love with his own depiction of the idyllic woman.