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Lincoln in Dalivision

Artist: Salvador Dali
Created: 1977
Location: Levine & Levine

Lincoln in Dalivision

“The day when people take my work seriously, they will realize that my painting is like an iceberg, which only shows a tenth of itself above water.” – Salvador Dali.  Intriguing, bewildering, and fascinating… yes, much is present and absent in ‘Lincoln in Dalivision’.

Possibly one of the most counterfeited artworks by Salvador Dali, the lithograph was created based on the painting “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko).”

It is suggested that ‘Lincoln in Dalivision’ be viewed from 20 meters away (approx. 66 feet) in order for the observer to clearly perceive the mosaic image of Abraham Lincoln. As one approaches the image, it morphs into a collection of different pictures, all of which appear to be unique and separate from the entirety of the artwork. Nevertheless, the whole harmoniously blends together to create a tableau of profound significance.

The first individual we notice is Gala, Dali’s lover, wife, and muse, as she stands in Dali’s favored position, her back towards us and her facial expression hidden, while she gazes out of a window. Above Gala, in a sky of various deep reds and oranges, an image of Christ presents itself. It is said to be taken from another of Dali’s art work entitled “Christ of St John of the Cross” created in 1951. At the bottom left, we see another, yet smaller representation of Gala, along with a little tiled image of Abraham Lincoln. To the right is an outline sketch of a woman’s profile, which was rumoured to have been included in order for Dali to deem this art work an original lithograph, as opposed to a reproduction.


Although the analysis of ‘Lincoln in Dalivision’ by both critics and viewers is dubious and varied, the most common interpretation is that the artwork represents life and death. Gala’s beauty of life is balanced with the harsh mortality of the assassinated president and the crucifixion of Christ.

About the Artist

As one of the most famous of the “surrealism” artists, Salvador Dali possessed a unique artistic approach, one that not only intrigued viewers, but also stunned art lovers all over the world. Dali, though born in Spain, fondly considered the United States his second home. This dual love of both countries may be of significance in his creation of ‘Lincoln in Dalivision’, suggesting perhaps a tribute to the American soldiers who were a part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and bravely fought in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.


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