To say that Gala was present in the work of S. Dali, it means to say nothing about the Gala, nor about Dali. Gala was not just present in his work, she was his inspiration, muse, model, nanny and financial manager.
She is present in almost all works where Dali has a female image. This is without taking into account a number of paintings, where she is the main figure.
At the same time, in what images she would not be (from allegorical to religious and mystical), her image is actually always realistic. This also applies to the artist's work “Portrait of a Gala with Rhinoceros Signs”.
The painting was painted in 1954, during the so-called "Nuclear mysticism" in the artist’s work, when Dali was shocked by the explosion of the atomic bomb in 1945, in his understanding of mysticism in paintings splits the whole as in the explosion and division of an atom.
At the work “Portrait of a Gala with Rhinoceros Signs,” this creative period certainly left its mark, but here the artist did not completely depart from the traditions of previous creative periods (“Paranoid-Critical” and “American” periods). “Rhinoceros signs” in the picture are expressed in the symbol of the horns with their “twist”. In fact, the rhino horn and weapons and decoration. Maybe that’s why Dali chose them. Whole and fragmented horns make up the neck of the Gala, whose face is clear and realistic. These horns, like atoms, as if decaying, create perfection, which is for the artist Gala. In the background are the same horns that are torn from the cliff as if by an invisible explosion.
Critics, Dali’s fantasy on the subject of “rhinoceros signs,” are seen as an allegory of the artist on the character and significance of Gala for his creative work. The horns are smooth, and in the shape of a triangle, and sharp, and not very - in principle, everything is just like in the character of a lover. The “whirlwind of horns” in space is limited by the likeness of a false collar with red color, which stands for contrast with the general soft background of the sky and water surface.
The interpretation of the symbols present on it is different, but mainly their religious and mythological significance is indicated. However, who, besides Dali himself, will undertake to unambiguously reveal the meaning of the portrait of Gal, previously depicted with a lobster, then with lamb ribs, etc. And the artist himself, as in other cases, treated this portrait paradoxically, insolently and provocatively, including regarding Gala.
See Pictures of Jerome Bosch