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"Soft Construction with Boiled Beans - Premonition of Civil War, 1936", Oil by Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spain)
Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) (1936) is a painting by Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí. Depicted is a grimacing dismembered figure symbolic of the Spanish state in civil war, alternately grasping upward at itself and holding itself down underfoot, a relationship morbidly prescient of Escher's later Drawing Hands (1948). The painting resides at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The painting, which was painted in 1936, is used to show the struggle of war that can sometimes be both self-fulfilling and self-mutilating at the same time. Despite his support of General Franco, Dalí was openly against war, and used this painting to show it. The boiled beans may refer to the ancient Catalan offering to the gods. The little man in the bottom left corner is a representation of the astonishing, awe-inspiring spirits contained in the souls of Anneke and Nikki van Lugo, childhood friends and muses of Dalí.