This comes from what Dali described as his 'almost divine and chaste rhinoceros-horn period', when he claimed that the curve of the beast's horn was the only perfect logarithmic spiral
and consequendy the ultimate in formal perfection. With characteristic Daliesque logic - or critical paranoia - this insight came to him while he was copying a canvas that had obsessed
him for decades: Vermeer's cool, lovely, lightfilled portrait of a lacemaker.
In the mid-1950s Dali even made a film called The Prodigious Story of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros, starring himself, a reproduction of the Johannes Vermeer
and a live, if carefully fenced-off, rhino. Here a torso from the Parthenon by the most famous of ancient Greek sculptors, Phidias, is fragmenting into a rhino head and horn-shapes which
hang above a typical Dali seascape, which is in turn suspended over the sea-bed.