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"The Face Of War", Oil by Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spain)
The Face of War (The Visage of War; in Spanish La Cara de la Guerra) (1940) is a painting by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí. It was painted during a brief period when the artist lived in California. The trauma and the view of war had often served as inspiration for Dalí’s work. He sometimes believed his artistic vision to be premonitions of war. This work was painted between the end of the Spanish Civil War and beginning of the Second World War. The painting depicts a disembodied face hovering against a barren desert landscape. The face is withered like that of a corpse and wears an expression of misery. In its mouth and eye sockets are identical faces. In their mouths and eyes are more identical faces in a process implied to be infinite. Swarming around the large face are biting serpents. In the lower right corner is a hand print that Dalí insisted was left by his own hand.