Following the atomic explosion over Hiroshima in 1945, Dalí painted a number of fragmented heads and figures. Some of the shapes that form the head in this painting are solid and phallic shaped - inspired by rhinoceros horns. The upper area of the painting, with the halo and brown clouds resembles photographs of atomic explosions. The female face, with its tender expression and thin halo, is recognisable as the face of a Madonna by Raphael. Dalí was a great admirer of Old Master paintings. The skull section in this work is based upon the inside of the dome of the Pantheon building in Rome.