50 SECRETS OF MAGIC CRAFTSMANSHIP PDF
“Port Lligat Madonna Help Me” 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship SALVADOR DALÍ Translated by Haakon M. Chevalier DOVER PUBLICATIONS, INC., NEW. Editorial Reviews. Language Notes. Text: English (translation) Original Language: Spanish. From the Back Cover. For many, Salvador Dalí (–) . 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Salvador Dali. 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship.
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50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship book. Read 21 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. For many, Salvador Dalí (–) represents th. The great of 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, you can find in our pdf. 50 Secrets of Magic. Craftsmanship with compatible format of pdf, epub, mobi and kindle. Rare, important volume in which famed Surrealist expounds — in his inimitably eccentric fashion — on what painting should be, the history of painting, what is.
Cucumbers have as great an attraction for water as they have an aversion for oil. The rue is never so handsome as under the shade of the fig tree, or even grafted into the latter's bark. For the eye of the painter is a battle field, and at the same time an idyllic prairie. Certain images, in fact, shock the eye while others caress it, some nourish it and others denutrify it, and so on.
Consequently, if you wish to make your eye vibrate happily, remembering that your eye will be ceaselessly engaged in choosing, in struggling for holy unity, which is your holy unity, you must creat it with very special care.
And there is this difference, that while the vocal chords are viscera which are blind, deaf and without memory, the eye is the persistence of retinal memory in person! Indeed there is no grosser error than that of believing that when you cease to look at a chair, this chair disappears.
No, and again, no! Know, on the contrary, that at least until the end of your days there will remain permanently in the depth of your retina a place to sit down! You can accordingly without any fear of going wrong, adopt as your own this Dalinian maxim: For a long time after their incarceration, in the most unexpected circumstances and places, they often see the bars of their prison window appear before their eyes, sometimes fixed but more often as if in flight, now standing out dark against a light background and again—more frequently—appearing as negatives, even against very light backgrounds, like the sky, for instance, on which I often observed the bars of my prison in Gerona, appearing in a blue tonality even more luminous than the sky itself.
These apparitions, which lasted about three months after my liberation, made me give a good deal of thought to the persistence of retinal impressions, leading me almost immediately to a practical conclusion which my intuition had already, since my earliest childhood, unconsciously put into practice.
You must therefore know, young painter, that the Seventh Secret of your art resides in the sympathies and antipathies of your retina, in the manner in which you daily nourish it. As a result, as in the case of all mosaics, your fancy, choosing paranoically, will be able to make the lighted images of your fancy appear and disappear, especially when you shut your eyes, and it is at this moment that the retinal mosaic which I advise you to form in your eye will appear exactly like the prison bars, but more lastingly.
Thus you realize that what I am advising, good inquisitor that I am, is that you should surround yourself with a prison for your eye.
For nothing is more harmful to it than the freedom to see everything, to attempt to embrace everything, to want to admire everything all at once. But the prison which I advise for your eye must be mobile, transparent, and its flying bars aerial an tiny. The ideal prison for the delicate eye of the painter is therefore vegetation, and the best of all vegetations is that of olive trees, and consequently also that of myrtles, since at the moment of planting the former around your house you have already learned that olives and myrtles sigh for one another and grow best together, in one another's arms.
It is the olive tree, with the counterpoint of the myrtle, which by the constant, subdivided and tiny glittering and quivering of their leaves will surround your eye with that silvery mosaic so nourishing in trembling reminiscences for your retina that, whether your eyes are open or closed, all that you see will appear to you more silvered, minute, ample, gracious, smiling and euphoric—just as though, on the Mediterranean and brilliant lake of your retina, there were blowing at every moment that same light air which overturns, in silvery gusts, the leaves of the olive trees, of those olive trees which you will have become so accustomed to seeing that you already carry them planted in your retina and which, no matter where you go or what you paint, will never leave you for the whole rest of your life.
On the other hand, nothing in the world can be more harmful to the education of your young eye of sixteen—this is the moment when you must already have decided your vocation as a painter—than the frequent sight of colors that are too vivid or too absolute. Your eye must become educated in nuances. This is why you must avoid planting flowers around your painter's house and shun, as you would the pest, the confused juxtaposition of their strident and brutal colors, molesting not only your eye but, it seems to me, capable even of piercing the tympanum of your very ear.
Live, therefore, amid silvery graynesses, in order that the true colors of your soul may never descend to being some day compared to those— ephemeral and untranscendental—of flowers and eliminate these from your surroundings, or at least those of loud coloration, like the geranium, for example, which you must especially avoid and for a thousand other reasons. Furthermore you must also avoid green lawns and all vegetation in which the green of the chlorophyll utters its desperate biological shrieks for oxygen!
For there is nothing worse for the painter's retina than the loud and grinding Veronese of the parrot of the exotic and orgiastic dogdays of vegetation. They are the veritable and treacherous enemy of his eye. I want oranges! Avoid, therefore, radically, even in the vicinity of your house, the presence of those snotty brats which are the violent greens. Once they have entered your retina you will no longer be able to silence them, they will not leave you alone for one second while you are at your work, for which it is very necessary to have that august calm which alone an eye exclusively nourished on olive-hued tapestries with threads of silver silk of airy light can procure you.
And this is the Eighth Secret, from which you have just learned a little of why and how to give your retina a little of its daily bread—may it be blessed. All this will help you to begin to understand also that the phenomenon of painting is consubstantially linked to geography, to geology, to botany, etc.
Here redolent truffles grow—there not. In a given piece of land a certain rare wine or a certain unique sea urchin, while half a mile away the wine has no exceptional quality and the sea urchins are hardly edible. This Mediterranean slope swarms with tempting subjects for the painter, while on the other coast, facing the Atlantic, not even a half of one has ever been able to grow. This is a law so rigorously inevitable that never, alas! That England, which has had sublime writers, has never given birth to a single great painter is known and recognized by all the world—in this world in which one cannot have everything.
I am speaking of painters of the first order, that is to say, a Velasquez, a Raphael or a Vermeer. But other much more impenetrable mysteries make the work of painters even more exceptionally precious. For the works of these painters are never equally successful. All painters know this by bitter experience, but you will never be able to explain it.
At a given moment you achieve, without hardly being aware of it, a miraculous masterpiece; at another moment, to all appearances similar, another painting executed with a thousand times more effort and knowledge brings you only greater shame at each fresh sitting and you can barely muster the courage to finish it.
Why did that turn out so well, and today, with the same procedure and with a thousand times more experience, I bungle it? Why, with this same medium and this same brush and this same subject, does the same thing which yesterday turned out divine today turn out unspeakable? This enigma is not an altogether hopeless one. Once you have read this book, you will be in possession of certain rules of the natural magic of craftsmanship.
For in certain happy cases you have followed these rules very closely, or even gone beyond them, and in other circumstances on the contrary, and also without knowing it, you have violated them, stubbornly contradicted them and trampled them underfoot.
I beg you, therefore, to consider the most extrapictorial events of your secret and ultraintimate life, and especially those most secretly linked to your love-life—and there we are! It is precisely those imponderables of your libido which are the greatest hypocrites, responsible for the good and the bad fortune of your work.
You tell me now that you had already vaguely suspected this. And how right you are!
All the more reason why I should hurry—quick, quick! I assure you that even though the present one is very, very good, the one which is to follow is even better, not to say most astonishing.
But many years after I learned of it, on traveling out of Geneva by automobile, my great friend, the painter Jose Maria Sert, explained to me in a memorable conversation on the different kinds of slumbers according to the arts that the slumber with a key was traditionally practiced by the aviso painters of architectonic drawings who needed for their craft an exceptionally calm and steady hand. Others, on the contrary, believe that this varies according to the individual.
The fall of the key may occur after one second of sleep, and all the images that precede the fall might have to be considered as hypnagogic, rather than oniric images. I personally believe that this will remain a mystery for centuries of years. The pale blue of the verbena creates a desire for ashen colorations; a fig tree surrounded by olive trees awakens in the mind the absurd and anti-pictorial urge to paint flames, just as the prolonged contemplation of a view of the Atlantic Ocean robs you irresistibly of all desire to paint.
The chromatic hyperchloridity of a Gauguin should suffice to cure the acidity of any young painter for the rest of his life. For that matter, the idea of a good painter coming from the tropics would be as absurd and ludicrous as that of a good Swedish painter. They don't have one today and they can never have one, and the explanation of this astonishing phenomenon is, besides many other more subtle ones, the snow. No snow country has ever produced good painters, for snow is the greatest and the most harmful enemy of the retina.
It is the hyperaesthetic negation of all visual culture. The white of snow is simply blinding, and it is for this reason that the colors of their painters are violet-hued, congested by anilin acids, and poisonous to the eye as well as to the spirit. This is why the Russian painter is the worst colorist of all. I was personally even more struck as a schoolboy when the Marist brothers, in order to moderate our solitary vices if to prevent them was impossible , often told us that this did us as much harm as though we were to manipulate with our own hand the delicate substance of our very brain.
But all such vague and metaphoric observations serve only to disturb the emotions and give rise to a host of lugubrious superstitions and feelings of guilt.
One must say everything or nothing. Here, then, in all frankness are exact details, and these constitute Secret Number 9. Be as chaste as possible, and practice carnal abstinence during the periods when you are not materially launched on your work—that is to say, during the inspiration and the conception of your painting. For during this spiritual process it is most desirable that the accumulation of your libidinal impulses, unable to find outlet in an actual realization of desires, should nourish the process of your dreams and reveries, especially in the state of gestation which is, as Paracelsus said, above all a state of digestion, of transformation—of transubstantiation—and today that we know Freud we may add also and above all, of sublimation which, as we also know today, is the state which characterizes the constitutional basis of the artistic phenomenon.
50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship
On the other hand, and contradicting the fear expressed by Cenini that the painter's hand would tremble in consequence, I shall tell you that precisely at the moment of placing yourself really before your canvas in order to begin to paint it, it will be very desirable that you should establish the regular habit of making love once a day at the least.
Remember, then: For you know already that while you are working all anxiety must be absent from your spirit, since I have already explained that you must execute your work in a half- waking state, lulled by zephyrs of memories, mingled with readings that are sufficiently monotonous so that you will barely hear them. This state is exactly the one which the regular gratification of your carnal desires will procure you, whereas during your period of conception these must appear to your imagination by turns, as if torn from the fiery and drooling parchments of the annals of demonology and caressed by the downy scores of the solfeggio of cherubs.
For you will have nailed a calendar to your wall: The material time for the painter is marked by the clock of pain: You must mark on your calendar beforehand the course your work is to follow, and afterwards mark each point in the progress of its execution.
Thus the painter's calendar will be riddled with notations: I am unable to verify this for myself, but it is in any case possible, since severe calculations, based on pictorial technique, have convinced me that the most important work can and must be resolved in exactly six days.
One day more is not only unnecessary, but is a dangerous symptom that the masterpiece is already foredoomed to failure. I should despise you if you were to regard as trivial the mention of the calendar in conjunction with the word love. You must know that the entire passion of the painter is inscribed in the calendar.
Know, then, that the requirement that your work be realized in six days constitutes Secret Number 10 of this book. The most complex case is that of a painting which represents human figures in a natural, architectural or fantastic setting there is no more complicated subject in painting. The painter who begins his session before the easel at eight o'clock in the morning can easily, giving great care to shading and brushing out, finish any sky by one o'clock.
I guarantee you that if with the five and a half hours that I give you to fill in the landscape or the sea you do not have enough, and if consequently at the moment of sitting down to dinner at half past eight you have not yet finished, you are not the great painter of genius that you claim to be and your work will not be the masterpiece which we expected from your brush.
But since you reassure me by telling me that your background is completed and ask me how and at what point you are to continue your work tomorrow morning at eight o'clock, I shall ask you to mark down the following on your calendar I shall assume that your painting features two figures in the foreground: From three to six will be the propitious time for the face.
You will always choose the masculine one to begin with, if your figures are a man and a woman. If not, your choice will be determined by the difficulty, and must always go to the easier one. The face must be begun with the lighted parts of the chin; after that the cheeks and the forehead, then the nose, the mouth, the ears and finally the eyes.
The longest and most difficult always are the nose and the forehead. From six to half past eight you will begin the architecture or the fantastic elements. This brings you to the following morning.
From eight to ten you will complete one body, from ten to twelve the other body, except for the hands and the feet which I give you the whole rest of the afternoon to complete, for since these terminate the extremities you will be able to execute them more effectively at this hour than, for instance, the architectural elements, which fatigue might render awkward and arduous. You may now spend the whole morning of your third day working exclusively over your figures, without any other order than that of lingering over the details that appeal to you.
You see that we have already reached the third day, and already your canvas is satisfyingly covered with paint, except for the feminine face.
Be easy in your mind and work without haste, for I give you the three remaining days to realize it! You see how comprehensive I am. I have not wanted to encumber you with the architectural elements, for these need only be well traced out. You will find that you have executed them in your spare moments without quite knowing how. But you won't do this if you are projecting a masterpiece, inasmuch as you know from the whole experience of the history of art that the greatest enemy of a pictorial masterpiece is fantasy.
And that even the most divine imagination exacts of you only that you become consubstantially, biologically and inquisitorially a slave of reality. After the realization of your painting, it is necessary to finish it, and sometimes even to patch it up. And here is the mystery. If six days have been more than sufficient for you to realize your painting, it may sometimes take you several years to finish it, since it has never yet been known exactly when a painting is finished, or even if a single painting exists which is.
My own opinion is that no painting is ever finished, and that it is to this that paintings owe the force of their existence, the perpetual influence which they exert over the years. If it is humanly impossible to know whether your picture is finished, it will be almost as difficult for you to know when you must stop working on it.
There comes a point where you run the risk of overlaboring and overrefining it instead of finishing it, and thus of ruining your work in the most disastrous fashion. Hence you must know exactly at what precise moment you must definitively remove your picture from your easel and stop painting on it. For this your own feeling does not suffice and may often deceive you. Remember how many times you have bitterly regretted having continued to overpolish your work and thereby having spoiled it irremediably.
Before initiating you into this secret, however, there are several expedients that you may have recourse to as you reach the stage at which you consider your picture to be nearing its final form.
At the end of these sessions you should make a habit of observing the reflection of your picture in a mirror with a scrutinizing eye. This will help you considerably—seeing what is on the left on the right, and vice versa—to determine its defects with more accuracy, especially to discover things which are out of balance or out of proportion. The asymmetries and irregularities which are not called for will immediately strike you.
Your eyes, too much accustomed to seeing the picture constantly in the same way, tend to allow your vision to be contaminated by your conception and to correct disproportions in an artificial manner. Another useful expedient is to have your wife trick you into coming upon your picture in the most unexpected settings and at the most unexpected moments—in an odd room, in a corner of your garden —so that you find yourself suddenly and irreparably confronting your picture.
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Such brutal surprises are very effective in tearing from your eyes the bandage which your affection for your work often contrives to weave in the course of the long sessions which you have spent at your work, even though you have strived conscientiously to render the beautiful rather than to try to persuade yourself charitably that this is what you were really doing.
But I shall assume that your picture has resisted all these tests, and still others, like the fascinating one of representing it to yourself in imagination, in the course of a prolonged revery, hanging in a museum next to one of your preferred Raphaels.
And I shall assume that in spite of all this, convinced though you are of its beauty, you cannot make up your mind, you cannot muster the courage to stop working on it definitively, and finally to inscribe your signature on a certain spot which is often so difficult and anguishing to choose. It is precisely at this moment of doubt that you should have recourse to my secret. Pay careful attention now to what is to follow, for it is thus that you must proceed.
Take the skeleton of a sea urchin of an unusually large size. Against the pentagonal aperture formed by what is known as Aristotle's lantern, place the concave face of a crystal lens which may be secured in place with a little wax. Then take the web of a spider and with it form lines across the lens, connecting the five points of the pentagon so as to form a star.
At the opposite point of the sea urchin's shell make a hole with a drill, large enough to accommodate a small magnifying glass. You will then see for the first time in your life—since before me no one had ever had the idea of looking through a new, artificially drilled hole, into the interior of a sea urchin—you will see, I repeat, the interior of one of the most beautiful natural cupolas which it is given to a human, creature to contemplate, and the center of this cupola— which I might compare to the Pantheon in Rome—would correspond to the hole which looks out on the sky, round in the one, pentagonal in the other.
I shall ask that you hold this up to your picture, so that its reduced image will appear in it. This test is something which you must experience for yourself. For if the picture, observed under such conditions, through such a telescope, appears finished to you it is because it is truly finished, and if it does not appear finished, then it is because it is not.
For you see it really surrounded and pressed, as it were, between the teeth of the perfection of a closed and finite world, in the center of the veritable monarchy which governs the painter, as will become transparent to you in the last chapter, in which I shall deal at the length which it deserves with themorphology and the aesthetic transcendency of the skeleton of the sea urchin, and with Aristotle's lantern in particular.
You may now already begin to suspect that in order to have the humor to contemplate the mysteries of creation by introducing holes in the most secret receptacles of nature, so that you may see revealed through them universes of the ocean depths even when they bristle with spines, you have obviously to be not only curious, but also and especially you have to be a happy man.
And as I have already made you anticipate that the secret of your happiness and your good humor resides in your love-life I shall ask you once more in this connection to follow my experiences in this realm of the flesh, which is filled with such sweet thorns. Septuaginta duarum basium vacuum The moment has come to reveal to you my Secret Number But all three must live together, and live in the most perfect harmony.
With your legitimate wife you must begin to cohabit at the age of twelve, and at this moment she will be exactly years old.
Her name is Painting, her cheeks are fresh as a rose, her breasts are the roundest that it has ever been given you to contemplate, and you would take her, at the most, for thirty-six. And you must know that she will never age. In order that your marriage with Painting shall be a happy marriage your love must not, as you might think, be absolutely reciprocal, though it is quite necessary that it be shared.
Remember the unhappy love of Cezanne with his Painting—he worshipping her so completely, and she, ungrateful that she was, remaining utterly indifferent. On the other hand, remember the uninterrupted honeymoon of Raphael with his Painting.
In my own case I must avow frankly that Painting loves me more than I love her. And she is often put out with me, for each time that I neglect her a little in order to write, I feel her languish—even when, as I am doing now, I write only about her. I know that she will overwhelm me with bitter reproaches. For Painting cannot be satisfied with words, which the wind sweeps away. She wants you, my dear friend, to possess her at least three times a day, and not a single night will she fail to slip into your bed.
This is why it will be so difficult for you to find a mistress, and at the same time why she will become for you the rarest and most precious thing in the world, if you succeed in finding her. Rare and difficult, because at all costs she must not be jealous of your Painting, but on the contrary she must love her not only as much as you yourself do, but even more!
And precious, because in spite of the fact that with Painting you will experience ecstasies, you have already understood that they are of a platonic nature. She cannot therefore gratify your libido, painter though you be. See, then, how lucky you are, since the one you will really marry when you are in your middle twenties and who, in the eyes of all the world will pass as your legitimate wife, or at least as your morganatic wife, will in reality of truth be only your mistress, with all the perpetual romance which this implies, while your marriage, without secrets or veils, your marriage of all the most everyday moments of your life will be that into which you entered through the sacrament which you contracted in your early teens before the muses of Olympus, with your dear and well-beloved Painting.
See, therefore, once more how happy you may consider yourself among men! To be able to live with your very wife as though she were a mistress into whose arms you were escaping from the soft, but too habitual conjugal bed! I must tell you now, by way of introduction to Secret Number 13, that every good painter who aspires to create authentic masterpieces must before anything else marry my wife.
You must know, then, that oil painting fell in love with Gala at first sight, and that she became from that moment her constant and exclusive model and was thenceforth called her olive, because of the color and the volume of the oval of her face, which resembles that of a Mediterranean olive as two drops of oil resemble each other, and although olive oil is not appropriate for painting, because it would dry too slowly, the olive itself remains nevertheless the symbol of oils—for it will no doubt be admitted that the best symbols are those which never dry.
Painter, I counsel you therefore to balance an olive on your easel, and let your eye not cease to question it often, for he who has understood the form of an olive will have penetrated the most subtle suprasensible secret of all painting!
Thus—and this is Secret Number 14—accustomed to recognizing at a glance the morphological virtues of an olive, you will be able to choose amid the abundantly antipictorial multitudes of feminine ovals those of the authentic Galas which painting loves, assuring yourself thus, by this unanticipated procedure, nothing less than the certain choice of your own happy marriage. Let me now tell you other advantages that you will find in being married to a Gala.
And since I feel that this is what you have been waiting for, wondering what in the world this Gala does to make her so precious to every painter, what she does to be so useful, my answer shall be simple: And to pose means to architecturalize space.
And in the course of your walk, when your spirit roams a thousand miles away, losing itself on the misty confines of obsessive conjectures, she points out to you a flower in the path where you are walking like a somnambulist, bringing your distracted spirit back to the savory reality of your walk.
And it is the same flower which, that evening, on rereading Michel de Montaigne, he in turn counsels you to observe, in order to prevent your spirit from becoming the prey of your chimeras.
But I say that Gala does nothing. I wish to say now, in order to have the pleasure of contradicting myself immediately, that she does everything, strictly everything. And yet I am right in saying again that she does everything while doing nothing, that is to say without touching anything, while flying about like a bee, which is also one of the names which I have given her, for like a bee she brings me all the oils, all the media, and it is thus that I find the pentagonal hive of my studio filled with all the pollens which the painter, at every moment of the day, needs to be able to spin the integral honey of his work.
And when she lets her eyes rest on an object, Gala the olive becomes an observer, and her glance is inestimable. Its extreme acuteness, capable of seizing the difference of a hair in the mounting of a jewel, caused the Duke de Verdura to exclaim that Gala had the eyes of a lynx.
Now if it is true that a painter's two eyes do not suffice him, and that he must often have recourse to other eyes, even though they may be less good than his, you can tell yourself that the greatest good fortune that can befall you, in this regard, is to live with a woman who possesses the eyes of a lynx! And finally, this is the place where I wish this to be written: It was Gala who reinspired the Renaissance of classicism which slumbered within me since my adolescence, who has surrounded me progressively, almost without my being aware of it, with all the rare architectural documents of the Renaissance.
One morning, toward the end of October in , I was seated in my studio and I was looking at a pomegranate divided in two halves which I was holding in my hands while with my tongue I was trying to work loose one of the little seeds which had become obstinately wedged between two teeth. It was at this moment that I understood the supreme beauty of the architecture of antiquity, based on the biology of numbers. And I remember very well that at that moment my tongue was pleasurably caressing my gums with the maximum of force, registering the relief of each of my upper teeth, as if this pressure could help me better to understand and to remember my thought, more and more clear, which seemed to spring from the very depth of my blood.
This idea may be expressed thus: Believe me, when I advise you to guard your studio with the utmost rigor against the intrusion of any living creature besides your wife, that is to say your Gala—with the exclusive exception of the spider which, on the contrary, you must consider the true geometrist, the minute Luca Pacioli, the intimate friend of the painter's hours of labor, and from whom you will derive much instruction and a continual feast, for your eyes as well as for your mind.
Banish, then, to begin with, monkeys, parrots, dogs and cats, for these can but involve you in innumerable and unnamable disorders and miseries and filth, from the constant menace of finding irreparably smeared by a rapid and disagreeable tail- swish of their dirty hairs the archangelic smile which you had patiently achieved with three thousand conscientious and airy tail-swishes of the minute badger hairs of your careful brushes, to the flying about of their animal dust, and crowning the whole by their overwhelmingly depressing propinquity, even when, assuming the most favorable circumstances, these beasts are well-behaved and unobtrusive.
For when you feel yourself possessed, or when you possess the holy retinal furies of your inspiration, the stupid presence of a dog, with its lachrymose sentimentality, cannot but strike you as lamentably out of harmony with the cruel tension of your lucid spirit, which is one of the principal vital and fecund characteristics of every authentic creator.
The company of the spider, on the contrary, will appear to you sympathetic, lucid and cruel like yourself, and it will spin the mathematics which you, leaning over your easel, bear inscribed in the lines of tension of your own bones. Thus, no dog for you, but spiders, yes! And know that there do not exist in all creation two more contradictory secretions than the foul and supremely anti-geometric drooling of a dog and the quintessential and mathematical saliva of the spider.
Begin, then, by learning the most simple and rudimentary manner of constructing your aranearium, and wait a few moments before I tell you not only all the excellent and useful things which can be derived from these instruments but also the unsuspected resources of pleasure which they contain: I promise you that the retrospective utilization of such araneariums not only will make you drool but will, I swear to you, even make you weep.
The best aranearium is constructed with a slender olive branch, which you shape as nearly as possible into a perfectly round hoop, leaving four or five olive leaves clinging to the outer part of the circle, on which the spider will enjoy placing himself on various occasions.
This hoop of olivewood you will secure on a four-foot pine pole provided with a solid base. At the bottom of the hoop place a small box in the shape of a perfect cube, of very green pine, provided with two holes, one in the top, and the other in one of the sides.
This empty cube will serve as the spider's nest. Within the previously moistened box, introduce a little earth and allow it to dry well in the sun. Since amber is very sympathetic to the spider—and how much more to the painter! For your aranearium to be successful, you must achieve its principal object, which is to oblige the spider you have chosen to construct its web exactly within the circle of your aranearium. You will not manage this without some difficulty, and you will have to bring the spider back to the hoop of olivewood as many times as necessary until your spider finally decides to weave his web there.
Once his work is accomplished a few tidbits of flies will make him feel at home and he will stay there, and even if he should abandon his web for a time he will suddenly reappear at the moment when you least expect him, even if you should move your aranearium to a different place. I am assuming, then, that you are in proud possession of your five araneariums with their five perfect spiderwebs. Now hear how and why they are to be utilized and presently you will understand that this Secret Number 16 involves nothing less than a typical magic ceremony of witchcraft, whereby you will voluntarily fall in love, madly in love, for the rest of your life, with the bit of landscape which you have already wisely decided, by your understanding, to be the one among all those that you love to be most worthy of all kinds of sacrifices.
As your studio must be situated close to the spot where you were born, and as, if you are to be a good painter, this spot must have an admirable natural setting, the choice of the landscape with which you decide to fall in love will be relatively easy for you. Having determined on the view to be used for the ceremony in which you are to put yourself under a spell, this is how you must proceed.
First, the ceremony is to be performed when you are about twenty years old, when your love affairs follow one another in unbroken succession, but at a moment when you feel yourself particularly in love, to the point where your love-anguish makes all the operations which I am about to describe, simple though they be, appear onerous and almost unfeasible.
These operations will seem to you—and this is highly desirable from a psychological point of view—to be an unwelcome interruption of your continual dream of love. But this is all to the good, since what you are about to do is in fact to disturb that dream, to displace it and change its object, to provide the round, vague treasure of tenderness which you bear within you with a new, transparent receptacle in a special place, so that by means of your araneariums you will at last be able to see it.
You will see it, without seeing it, for what you will see will be something quite different from the image of the girl you are so much in love with.
Instead, you will see the landscape which, you tell me, your acute and refined painter's taste has definitively selected among the admirable spots which surround your studio. Begin, then, by placing opposite this favored spot a flawless crystal bowl filled with the purest water, so that you can see the landscape of your love reflected in the bowl and your eye can possess it isolated, reduced and perfectly contained in its crystalline sphere, as though you were seeing, separated from your person, the congealed mystery of your very retina.
Looking through the five cobwebs you will be wonder-struck as you see the bowl, by virtue of the rays of the setting sun, become irradiated by the most subtle and golden mother-of-pearl tints of thousands of rainbows. Remain where you are, marvel at the vision, which will appear to you one of the most ineffable sights you have ever seen, though you are as yet unable to explain your ecstasy.
Look, and look again, but at the same time move your araneariums, now closer together, now farther apart, so that the rainbows which they produce will intersect one another in a variety of intricate geometric patterns, weaving aeolian strophes of exquisite iridescence cadenced with the regularity of the crystal sphere in which the image of the landscape of your love begins to turn ruby-red, then darker, like the blood of a ripe cherry—for the sun is about to disappear behind the horizon, and you already feel the warm hand of the shadows of the spring twilight touch you just behind your head in the nape of your neck with the tip of its ring-finger which might very well, if you wish, be adorned with a clear garnet.
Remain, I say—and even if I did not tell you, do so nevertheless—for now that the sun has gone, and with it the glorious rainbow aureole produced by the irisation of your araneariums, you feel so overwhelmed by the spectacle which your eyes have just contemplated that it seems to you that the potency of the charm which you have undergone keeps you there, glued to the spot, incapable of making the slightest movement, even that of wiping off the drop of saliva which has begun to flow from the corner of your lips.
After this evening on which you have been so carried away by the spectacle of your favorite landscape which the araneariums and the crystal bowl have procured you I order you to avoid seeing it again on any pretext. This you must do systematically, orienting your walks in other directions and even suppressing the landscape from your thoughts as much as possible, thus depriving yourself for a long time, that is to say for twenty-seven years, of the sight, whether at close range or from afar, of this spot which, as you shall see, must remain buried in your memory.
For the more completely you can forget it, the better it will be for what is to follow. None of these secrets - for example why a painter must use a certain mixture of oils including three dead wasps which should still have their stinger - are accompanied by well funded arguments never mind that a wasp doesn't lose its stinger. Which leads me to another point of critique, but also great amusement.
For yes, Dali is considered a great painter, by none less so than himself. He even shows how highly he values himself in this aspect in the form of an intricate table judging different painters on different skills like composition and originality.
It goes without saying that Dali scores rather high in all categories, putting himself roughly at the level of Da Vinci, only allowing painters like Velasquez and Vermeer, who he idolizes, above himself.
On top of that, he makes it no secret in his writing that he considers himself highly intelligent, a fact he feels the need to prove by inserting all manner of archaic, long or simply needlessly complicated words into his text. He also makes frequent use of what he calls Dalinisms: wise phrases, lessons or sayings that deserve to be immortalized together with his name. Such as "everything that the eye sees is constantly formed by everything that this eye has seen before—and also that the retina and history resemble each other like two drops of historic retina".
There's also Dalinist aesthetics, Dalinist skies, etc. His secrets are nothing if not practical though: Dali teaches a masterpiece must be completed in exactly six days and even fills in the painter's calendar for those six days, specifying at what time which part of the painting is supposed to be worked on.
None of these secrets - for example why a painter must use a certain mixture of oils including three dead wasps which should still have their stinger - are accompanied by well funded arguments never mind that a wasp doesn't lose its stinger. Which leads me to another point of critique, but also great amusement. For yes, Dali is considered a great painter, by none less so than himself. He even shows how highly he values himself in this aspect in the form of an intricate table judging different painters on different skills like composition and originality.
It goes without saying that Dali scores rather high in all categories, putting himself roughly at the level of Da Vinci, only allowing painters like Velasquez and Vermeer, who he idolizes, above himself.
50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship
On top of that, he makes it no secret in his writing that he considers himself highly intelligent, a fact he feels the need to prove by inserting all manner of archaic, long or simply needlessly complicated words into his text. He also makes frequent use of what he calls Dalinisms: wise phrases, lessons or sayings that deserve to be immortalized together with his name.
Such as "everything that the eye sees is constantly formed by everything that this eye has seen before—and also that the retina and history resemble each other like two drops of historic retina".In his book, the famous painter Dali promises the young painter who aspires to become a master like Dali himself - and Dali certainly sees himself that way - to reveal fifty secrets of the craft, which will ensure success.
At a given moment you achieve, without hardly being aware of it, a miraculous masterpiece; at another moment, to all appearances similar, another painting executed with a thousand times more effort and knowledge brings you only greater shame at each fresh sitting and you can barely muster the courage to finish it. I wish I had found this book when I was going through my teenage fascination with Dali.
This is why you must avoid planting flowers around your painter's house and shun, as you would the pest, the confused juxtaposition of their strident and brutal colors, molesting not only your eye but, it seems to me, capable even of piercing the tympanum of your very ear.
You can therefore judge how precious such devices can be to you.
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