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Dalí i Domènech, Salvador

Rhinocerontic Figure of "Illisus" of Phidias

Oil on canvas
101.50 x 131.00 cm.

© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2004.

The central motif of Rhinocerotic Figure of the Ilissos of Phidias is based on one of the masterful marble sculptures that Phidias made for the west pediment of the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, around the years 438-432 BC. The reclining figures in the corners of the triangular composition perhaps represent the rivers of Attica. This figure, from the right-hand corner, is thought to personify the river Ilissos, by comparison with figures on the east pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia; the Greek historian Pausanias names them as the local rivers there. The naked youth's languid form is well adapted to the raking angle of the pediment that framed him.
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