Salvador Dalí Takes His Anteater for a Stroll in Paris, 1969

dali anteater

Sal­vador Dalí had a thing for anteaters. They made for good schtick, espe­cial­ly in Europe, and Dalí nev­er saw schtick that he did­n’t like.

And yet maybe there’s some­thing a lit­tle more to this pic­ture tak­en in Paris, in 1969. Maybe there’s some kind of sym­bol­ism, or even a play­ful trib­ute, tak­ing place in the pho­to above.

Sur­re­al­ism offi­cial­ly came into being in 1924, when André Bre­ton wrote Le Man­i­feste du Sur­réal­isme (read an Eng­lish trans­la­tion here). First a lit­er­ary move­ment, Sur­re­al­ism lat­er embraced painters, includ­ing fig­ures like Dalí.


In 1930, Dalí cre­at­ed a book­plate for Bre­ton called, “André Bre­ton le tamanoir.” That trans­lates to “André Bre­ton the Anteater,” the nick­name giv­en to Bre­ton by his fel­low sur­re­al­ists. Now con­sid­er the fact that the 1969 pho­to was tak­en three short years after Bre­ton’s death, and per­haps we can read an homage into it.

What nick­name did Bre­ton give to Dalí, you might ask? “Avi­da Dol­lars.” An ana­gram for “Sal­vador Dalí,” “Avi­da Dol­lars” trans­lates to “eager for dol­lars.” Pret­ty apt.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sal­vador Dalí Illus­trates Don Quixote: Two Spaniards with Unique World Views

Sal­vador Dalí Sketch­es Five Span­ish Immor­tals: Cer­vantes, Don Quixote, El Cid, El Gre­co & Velázquez

Sal­vador Dalí’s Haunt­ing 1975 Illus­tra­tions for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juli­et

Sal­vador Dalí Illus­trates Shakespeare’s Mac­beth

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