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Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée [Exploding Raphaelesque Head]
© Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS, 2015

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Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée [Exploding Raphaelesque Head] 1951

Not on display

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.

Glossary Open

Old Master

Term used to denote painters from the Renaissance until 1800, or their works.


Relating to or resembling a phallus, the representation of the male sexual organs as embodying power.

Old Master, Phallic


  • Acc. No. GML 345
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 43.20 x 33.10 cm (framed: 67.60 x 57.70 x 8.70 cm)
  • Credit Long loan in 1987