This was painted in Cadaqués, a fishing village where the Dalí family had a summer house. The painting literally incorporates the beach: sand is used on the left, while the patch on the right is coarser shingle. The subject of this painting seems to be indebted to André Breton, leader of the Surrealist group. Breton recounted a dream in which he and some friends were swimming in the sea. They startled two birds and one of the group shot at the birds as they flew overhead. By the time they had been washed ashore the birds had changed into creatures resembling a cow or horse.