Salvador Dali, “Leda Atomica” (1949)
Dali himself described “Leda Atomica” as a picture created “in accordance with the modern ‘nothing touches’ theory of intra – atomic Physics”. “Leda does not touch the swan; Leda does not touch the pedestal; the pedestal does not touch the base; the base does not touch the sea; the sea does not touch the shore. . . .” he explains, presenting a suspended world similar to the one of the atomic scale. The design of the composition is purely mathematical and carefully prepared as is revealed in a 1947 study of the artist. Leda (portrayed as his wife Gala) and the swan are inscribed in a regular pentagon, closely connected to the golden ratio. Dali conceived the design influenced by the Romanian polymath Prince Matila Costiesco Ghyka. The mathematical formula for the length of the pentagon’s side appears in the lower right side of the study.