(Corpus Hypercubus) (Corpus Hypercubus ou Crucifixion) 1954, by
Oil on canvas 194.5 x 124cm Metropolitan Musuem of Art New York.
Dali called this painting "Metaphysical,
transcendent cubism, it is based entirely on the Treatise on Cubic
Form by Juan de Herrera, Philip the 2nd's architect, builder of
the Escorial Palace: it is a treatise inspired by Ars Magna of the
Catalonian philosopher and alchemist Raymond Lulle. The cross is
formed by an octahedral hypercube. The number nine is identifiable
and becomes especially consubstantial with the body of Christ. The
extremely noble figure of Gala is the perfect union of the develpment
of the hypercubic octahedron on the human level of the cube. She
is depicted in front of the Bay of Port Lligat. The most noble beings
were painted by Velazques and Zurbaran; I only approach nobility
while painting Gala, and noblity can only be insired by the human
Dali had abandoned his Atheism
in favor of the religion of his birth and baptism Catholicism. Combining
this with his beliefs in so-called "nuclear mysticism"
he created painting such as the Hypercubus. Christ is suspended
on an eight sided dodecahedron - an octahedral hypercube or a cube
in the fourth dimension. Dali's critics often stated that his use
of these mathmatical symbols as "visual opportunism" and
that the artist knew nothing of the meanings and mathmatical principles
Thomas Banchoff a Brown professor
who did pioneering work using computer graphics to illustrate geometry
beyond the third dimension in the 1970's insists that this assumption
about Dali is untrue. "Dali wanted to be treated seriously
by scientists," Banchoff said of the artist. "He knew
what he was talking about he was not just using the symbols."
Banchoff and Dali became friends after a 1975 article in the Washington
Post about Banchoff's work caught Dali's eye. Banchoff stated that
Dali had specific mathmatical questions and sought the professor's
help to solve optical problems in some of his more extreme works.
To find out more about Dali and Dali art visit Fundacio
Gala-Salvador Dali a wonderful website run by the estate of
Salvador Dali about the museum and the artists final home in Dali's
hometown of Figueras in Spain.