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"The riddle of William Tell" - Salvador Dali. 1933
In 1933, Dali painted a picture that became the reason for his break with the surrealists - “The riddle of William Tell” (Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm). Tell in the art world of Dali symbolizes his father, who deprived his son of inheritance.
However, it is clearly visible on the canvas that Lenin is holding the child in his hands! The artist had previously written by Vladimir Ilyich, but here his appearance seems completely incomprehensible. In fact, everything is simple. Surrealists were supporters of communist ideas, and Vladimir Ilyich, respectively, was very respected. Dali just wanted to provoke their rage. But crutches supporting the very ambiguously depicted buttock of the leader of the world proletariat and the visor of his cap are a much more complex symbol. It usually means death and ascension.
The Riddle of William Tell, as expected, infuriated the surrealists. This was the last straw in the bowl of patience: Dali was already extremely annoying them with his fascination with Hitler (in fairness, we note that the artist never supported the ideas of fascism, he was simply attracted to Hitler). They tried to tear the painting exhibited at the Salon of Independents in 1934, but they failed to carry out the plan only because the canvas hung too high.
Then a comradely trial of Dali was appointed, as a result of which the masters were expelled from the group. However, he was not too upset. Not genuinely shy, he proclaimed: “Surrealism is me!” And I really think so, because I am the only one who is able to develop it further. ” By that time, he was already convinced of his mission - to save art.