DESCRIPTION OF SWANS REFLECTING ELEPHANTS (SALVIDOR DALÍ 1937)
In the foreground there is a rectangular lake which takes up half of the picture.
On the lake in the centre of the picture there are three large swans next to each other. The swans on the left and in the middle are facing the viewer with their necks pointing up. The swan on the right is facing left and is cleaning its left wing with its beak.
Directly behind the swans there is an island which crosses most of the lake. On the island there are ten tree trunks with no branches at the bottom and only a few at the tops of the trees. There are no leaves on the trees. The trees are in pairs with one behind the other. Two pairs of trees are between the swans on the left and the centre. The next two are behind the middle swan and the last two pairs of trees are behind the swan on the right.
The swans and trees are reflected in the lake to look like elephants. The reflection of the swans’ wings makes the elephants’ ears, the swans’ necks and heads make the elephants’ trunks and the trees make the elephants’ legs.
In the background of the picture to the left and right of the lake there are cliffs. On the left, below the cliffs there is a man standing on the lakeshore, facing left. In the sky above the cliffs on the left there are two small clouds. The one on the right is larger than the other one and is tall and thin. The cloud on the left is half the height of the other cloud.