|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
During his wartime career in America as a society portrait painter, Dali reused the Surrealist technique of paranoia-criticism for the very unSurrealist purpose of making large amounts of money. This work, painted in Hollywood, owes less to Dali's own past experiments with double images than to the work of the sixteenth-century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-93), who was generally admired by the Surrealists. Arcimboldo's paintings, in which human figures are created out of twigs, leaves and fruit, bear an obvious resemblance to the structure on the left of Dali's painting. Here paranoia-criticism is reduced merely to substituting natural for human features, with the primacy of Frau Styler-Tas's image never in doubt. Dali was also influenced by the Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca (l410-92), as can be seen from a comparison with his double portrait of Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino and his wife. Four years later Dali paid Piero a still more ambitious act of homage in The First Study for the Madonna of Port Lligat.