Yours truly has always like Dali. Master craftsman, extraordinary painter and a wonderful sense of mystery and humor, the man rocks without question, not only in art but in how he promoted himself. P.T. Barnum would be proud but this piece, as per the usual shenanigans in BRT, is not about Dali's art but rather about perception, something Dali was a consummate master of without question.
The objective here is to look quickly at the 1940’s painting and relay what first catches your eye. There are many things going on in this Dali painting, including the topless Gala staring toward a crowd of slaves and other figures. The painting includes crowds of people gathered against the backdrop of the Catalonia landscape. Seems pretty simple, right, but look again. Look deep within the crowd to a pair of Dutch merchants clad in black and white attire. There! Did you see it? It’s the bust of Voltaire. And now you see the pedestal in which the bust sits.
There’s another side to this story, however. Some who see this painting for the first time will immediately see the bust of Voltaire. As they look harder, the figures will emerge parting the crowds of slaves. This is what Gala, the topless lady wants you to see. She hides the face of Voltaire from French philosophy and the skeptics of the eighteenth century.
I can honestly say I saw Voltaire's Bust and pedestal from the get go. :)
Dali in B&W.