Words of the week

Salvador Dali and the Pink Rhinoceros | Intermediate | Words of the week #021




Salvador Dali had been standing in front of his canvas all day. He was working on a painting he just couldn’t finish.

First, he couldn’t get the right hue, no matter how hard he tried. It was really important to him that the rhinoceros in his painting was the right shade of pink to highlight its horn. When he finally felt satisfied after mixing thirty different combinations of paint, he couldn’t get it to look opaque enough on the painting. It seemed too light, no matter what he did.

“Dios mio, it looks more like watercolor than oil paint!”

And when he went to make it darker, he discovered that his black paint was missing. First Dali suspected his pet ocelot, but he found the cat sleeping peacefully by the stained glass window in his studio. The cat’s spotted fur now had a warm hue due to the light coming in through it.

When Dali looked out through the window, he saw a silhouette standing in front of his house. He immediately knew who it was.

“Curse that anteater!” he screamed and ran downstairs.

He found the anteater standing in front of a canvas of its own. The animal was painting the landscape in front of it, and by its leg Dali noticed the tube of black paint.

He moved towards the animal angrily, ready to yell at it. But when he got closer, he noticed that the painting was very interesting. It was quite abstract for a landscape painting: the sun was at the center of the canvas, while all the trees and hills were placed around it, in the corners.

“Fantastic composition,” Dali said, impressed. He leaned in to look more closely.

The anteater bowed its head as thanks for the compliment. Then Dali got so carried away with critiquing the anteater’s work, that he forgot all about his pink rhinoceros, and had to finish it the next day. 

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