50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1992-06-04
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Rare, important volume in which famed Surrealist expounds (in his inimitably eccentric fashion) on what painting should be, the history of painting, what is good and bad painting, the merits of specific artists, and more. Includes his 50 "secrets" for mastering the craft, including "the secret of the painter's pointed mustaches." Filled with sensible artistic advice, lively personal anecdotes, academic craftsmanship and the artist's own marginal drawings.

Author Biography

Immediately recognizable by his flamboyant waxed moustache, Salvatore Dalí (1904-89) ranks among the most popular of the Surrealists. Best remembered for the melting clocks of The Persistence of Memory, the Spanish painter also worked in theater, fashion, and photography. 

Table of Contents

1. The secret of the five different movements of the five types of brushes.
2. The secret of the springboard to be used for blending.
3. "The secret of the "slumber with a key."
4. The secret of the sea-urchin slumber.
5. The secret of the sleep with three sea-perched eyes.
6. The secret of sleeping while awake.
7. The secret of the sympathies and antipathies of the painter's retina.
8. The secret of the favorable vegetations which the painter should plant around his house.
9. The secret of the periods of carnal abstinence and indulgence to be observed by the painter.
10. "The secret of the painter's calendar, in accordance with which every important work may be realized in six days."
11. The secret of a telescope constructed with the Aristotle's lantern of a sea urchin by virtue of which the painter may know when he must stop working at his picture.
12. The secret of the painter's marriage.
13. The secret of why Gala loves Painting and why Painting loves Gala.
14. The secret of the form of an olive by virtue of which the painter may be guided in choosing the woman he must marry.
15. The secret for constructing an aranearium.
16. The secret of the retrospective utilization of araneariums.
17. "The secret, very simple but important, of a small roof to protect the picture from dust."
18. The secret of the painter's pointed mustaches.
19. The secret of learning to paint before knowing how to draw.
20. The secret of learning to draw models in reverse by the use of a mirror.
21. "The secret of the nine crutches serving to "fix" the most beautiful aesthetic poses of nude models."
22. The secret of oil-soaked strings serving to mark the geodesic curves of a turgescent nude.
23. The secret of the reason why a great draughtsman should draw while completely naked.
24. The secret for transferring the most immaculate tracings by means of oil paint.
25. The secret for becoming a great colorist by utilizing solely blacks and whites.
26. The secret of Naples yellow.
27. "The secret that a painting should dry slowly and naturally, without dryers of any kind."
28. The secret of using ivory black for the underpainting and blue black for the song.
29. "The secret of the maulstick glued to the "Achilles callosity" of the painter's hand by means of pitch."
30. The secret of banishing burnt umber from the palette.
31. The secret of blanc d'argent.
32. The secret of Venetian red.
33. The secret of the Mars colors.
34. The secret of Veronese green.
35. The secret of the cadmiums.
36. The secret of vermilion.
37. The secret of the incompatibility of ultramarine blue with the other colors.
38. The secret of cobalt blue.
39. The secret of cobalt violet.
40. "The secret of "dream-veil" imprimaturas."
41. "The secret of the "wasp" medium."
42. "The secret of artificially pigmented cowrie shells, extremely useful for refining the painter's retina."
43. "The secret whereby a painter may become a very rich man, that is to say, whereby he may produce gold with his colors."
44. The secret of the hanging egg of Piero della Francesca.
45. The secret of the sea urchin which the painter must have beside him for his meditations.
46. The secret of utilizing the golden section in perspective in order to obtain very unique and excellent melancholy effects.
47. The secret of the compass for projecting the golden section.
48. "The secret of the frames for the painter's models, excellent for guiding the composition of his pictures."
49. "The secret of obtaining the most beautiful models of curves, exceeding in harmony the logarithmic spirals of the nautilus."
50. The secret of the angel.

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