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Autumn Cannibalism, Oil by Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spain)
As with many artists, Dali was to depict war and conflict in several of his major works. Autumn Cannibalism was painted in 1936, the year the civil war began in Spain. The painting is an evocative interpretation of the horror and destruction of war, and also comments on the devoring nature of sexual relationships. On a chest of drawers placed on a Catalonian beach sit the top halves of two people. They are so entangled that the viewer has to look carefully to see which arm belongs to which figure. One figure holds a fork pointed to the other one's head, while it dips a spoon into the malleable flesh. A languid hand holds a gleaming knife that has sliced into the soft flesh of the other. Their featureless heads merge into each other, their individuality becoming indistinguishable.