Among the masterpieces Dali painted in his later period, Tuna Fishing
occupy the most significant places. Dali was later quoted about this painting that he was trying to represent the notion of a finite rather
than infinite universe, underscoring the idea "that all the cosmos and all the universe converge in one point, which, in the present case, is the Tuna-Fishing
. This accounts for the terrifying energy in this picture!
Because all these fish, all those tuna, all the human beings in the act of killing them, personify the limited universe."
Dali spent two whole summers (1966 and 1967) to pait Tuna Fishing
, a work full of dionysian figures. The pictures was a kind of testament, the fruit of forty years of devoted searching for means of visual expression.
In it, Dali combined all the styles he had worked in: Surrealism, "refined Pompierism", pointillism, action painting, tachism, geometrical abstraction, Pop art, and psychedelic art. The painting has proved as significant
as his 1931 soft watch masterpieces The persistence of Memory
The extraordinary photographic quality of Tuna Fishing
is a tribute to Dali's skill, and also to his modernity in using a projector to place directly on to the canvas the images he wished to copy. The images
themselves range from Hellenistic sculpture to the cinema. The slaughter of the fish is shown as a bloodbath which might equally well be a hladiatorial scene. The straining muscles and violent postures of the men
are like figures on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel
, heroically intense and glorying in the kill; by contrast, the authentic fishermen in the background
are (literally) less colourful, going about their business with professional detachment.