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Members receive one year of unlimited free museum admission. Join today.

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Exhibits + Collections

Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man

Date: 1943
Material Used: Oil on canvas
Size: 18 x 20 1/2 inches

Having broken with Surrealism, Dali reacted against the abstraction of modern art, turning to the Renaissance for inspiration. Looking to the past coincided with his renewed interest in Catholicism, and his imagery shifted from the personal to the more universal symbols of science and religion. While working on this painting, Dali jotted down the following list of words which help summarize the period of change: “Parachute, paranaissance, protection, cupola, placenta, Catholicism, egg, earthly distortion, biological ellipse.”

Geopoliticus Child reflects the newfound importance America held for the world and for Dali. The man breaking from the egg emerges out of the “new” nation, America, signalling a global transformation. Africa and South America are both enlarged, representing the growing importance of the Third World, while Europe is being crushed by the man’s hand, indicating its diminishing importance as an international power. The draped cloth above and below the egg represents the “placenta” of the new nation which, as Dali shows with a drop of blood, can only be born through much pain and suffering. An androgynous older figure stands in the foreground and points to the emerging man, acknowledging the birth of this global transformation. The cowering child with its long shadow – the “Geopoliticus Child” of the title – represents this new age.

Did Dali intend the figure coming out of the egg to be himself?

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