Cama y dos mesitas de noche atacando violentamente a un violonchelo (Bed and Two Bedside Tables Violently Attacking a Violoncello)

Salvador Dalí

Figueras, Girona, Spain, 1904 - 1989
  • Date: 
    1983 (circa)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    73 x 92 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 
  • Salvador Dalí Bequest, 1990

Salvador Dalí’s deteriorating sate of health after the death of his wife Gala diminished his physical capabilities and his dedication to painting, which entered its final stages with the works painted in 1983. The artist kept up his interest in new theories of knowledge, which prompted him to produce a series of works inspired by the French mathematician René Thom’s “Catastrophe Theory”; the theory put forward a new explanation of the study of natural phenomena, applying the term catastrophe in the sense of an abrupt change or discontinuity. In Bed and Two Bedside Tables Violently Attacking a Cello Dalí created a piece in which the bed and bedside tables take on a dynamic quality for staging a sudden attack on a cello inside a space that evokes a bedroom; it was a room in which the painter would now spend most of his day, bedridden and barely able to move, in a state of fitful sleep that induced dreams, visions and hallucinations to expose the purest Dalinian unconsciousness. In El camino de Dalí (Diario personal, 1978-1989) (The Way of Dalí [Personal Journal 1978–1989], Siruela, 2004), Ignacio Gómez de Liaño made reference to Antonio Pitxot, who, as one of the main sources of support in the artist’s final days, recounted how Dalí hallucinated and was painting a “fabulous” picture, made with old memories, which, according to Gómez de Liaño, could have been this work. This irrational condition and the inspiration taken from René Thom’s idea of abrupt change saw the artist recover some of the keys to his surrealist period and the “paranoid-critical method” he devised in a “delirious” interpretation of objects of reality.

Ruth Gallego Fernández