‘Hommage à Terpsichore’, after Salvador Dalí – Faceless Beauty

I had never liked Salvador Dalí as a person, and moreover, I learned to deeply dislike him when I knew of his cruelty with animals and some other nasty facets of his character and behaviour. Maybe he had mental issues or maybe not, but anyway I could not ever forgive some things he did (and I’m not at all referring to his eccentricities when treating others or his weird, exhibitionist, half-faked pose in his public life; that is just a trifle, and of course, his legitimate choice and freedom). It also disgusted me the continued support he gave to Franco’s dictatorship in Spain and all the personal flattering he displayed toward the dictator… However, I admire his art works without any reserve: paintings, drawings, designs and all sort of illustrations, and also -perhaps most of all- the sculptures based on his earlier pictorial icons that he allowed and, in some cases, helped to design in his late years. He was a great artist; a creator of Beauty- and this fact cannot be shadowed by anything else.

I do love dance. I have learned classical ballet and been a professional dancer for years (but not a genuine ballerina, unfortunately; just a folk, jazz and music-hall dancer). Terpsichore is the Muse of dance (among nine, one for each classical art and science), and she was considered by ancient Greeks the mother of the sirens too. Her name comes from the Greek words τέρπω (“delight”) and χoρός (“dance”).

Salvador Dalí’s depiction of her as a twofold incarnation (one part feminine, soft, graceful, gleaming, airy and beautiful; pure…; the other, masculine -or hybrid?-, angular, dark, earthy and arboreal) is enthralling. It staggers me and touches my innermost fibre as a woman, a dancer and a lover of arts.

The sculpture is cast in bronze and measures 187 cm. It was conceived in 1977 (first cast in 1984 -five years before the artist’s death). I don’t really know if it was wholly designed by Dalí. Anyway it’s beautiful.

Hommage à Terpsichore 1984 (187 cm) bronze
Hommage à Terpsichore (1984 – bronze; 187 cm)

[By Ari Fontrodona , 2015 or 2016]

This post comes from Ariel’s notes and pictures I have found saved on her computer; I have only assembled and edited them to make a suitable publication (and perhaps some more following up), as perhaps she would have done about these late “Dalí’s” sculptures —naturally commercial in purpose and dubiously genuine in my opinion; but truly beautiful as Ariel thought and wrote—.

[P.S.: After some search online and a detained reading of the Stratton Institute’s website, I learn that this collection of sculptures is still ongoing, twenty-eight years after the artist’s death… Thus, this American institution and the designers and sculptors hired by it are the only actual creators of a growing part of this body of work.

They summarize this perfectly well in a final note on her home page: “The Stratton Institute has created this collection, paying homage to the great Catalan Master, Salvador Dalí”.]

All the photographs, including the header one, come from The Stratton Institute website. All text is Ariel’s or mine.

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