Art meme | 1/8 paintings: Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening by Salvador Dalí (c.1944)
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee is a prime example of Sigmund Freud’s influence on Salvador Dalí. In 1962, Dalí, an avid reader of Freud’s work, gave the following explanation for this painting:
[It was intended] to express for the first time in images Freud’s discovery of the typical dream with a lengthy narrative, the consequence of the instantaneousness of a chance event which causes the sleeper to wake up. Thus, as a bar might fall on the neck of a sleeping person, causing them to wake up and for a long dream to end with the guillotine blade falling on them, the noise of the bee here provokes the sensation of the sting which will awaken Gala.”
My Odyssey of the Mind team used this painting in our long-term problem one year, which had Dali, van Gogh, and Picasso telling their dreams (this painting was Dali’s) to Freud, played by me. After the competition I saw the Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Dali’s sketches of Freud could be seen, as well as numerous paintings and objects such as the ruby lips sofa and lobster telephone.