Written in his native Spain after returning from the United States and before the gloomy “French period”, Dali’s “Meditative Rose” is full of bright colors and some kind of joyful attitude to life that is not typical for the artist as a whole. One could even say (if it is at all applicable to the work of Salvador Dali) – cautious optimism. The picture attracts the eyes wherever you see it (even as a copy or reproduction, because the picture itself is difficult to see, it is in a private collection).
Blue shining sky, with joyful, slightly illuminated light pink cirrus clouds, uncharacteristically carefully for Dali, to the smallest details and figures of people written down the valley of light brown tones under this sky… And in the center of the picture – instead of the sun! – huge, bright, “summer”, with loose petals, rosebud. From the picture you can not tear myself away, it gives joy and, at the same time – a strange alarm (which is more like impressions from the works of Dali). Let’s try to understand its symbolism. Most critics, and even leaving reviews in museums or comments on viewers’ sites agree that the bud of the “meditative” rose replaces the heavenly sun, that is, the picture symbolizes the substitution of a celestial object with an earthly one, and the meaning of this work is earthly love that warms and illuminating human life on these plains.
Hence the joyous attitude towards life, which corresponds, in fact, to the brightest period in the life of the artist himself: he is already famous, he no longer cares about disagreements with surrealists, and Dali has just returned to his homeland from America, where, though not very fruitfully, collaborated with Disney and Hitchcock. But where, then, is the underlying alarm? Peer into the picture with the analyst’s cold gaze: is the dazzlingly bright, red (if not bloody) pink bud too low for the sun? Recall, by 1958, it was no secret that nuclear weapons were tested, as was the exclamation of one of its creators: “What an unprecedented beauty!”. And in fact, does not this one, shining above the earth – but still slightly below the sun, resemble a “earthly rose” – the nuclear flash? In short, the picture “Meditative Rose”, like all the works of Dali, gives rise to reflections, if not to meditation.