15th - 20th Cent. Masters
Tristan and Isolde
In the engraving The Three Bad Barons, Dalí carefully illustrates the moment in the story when the Barons are involved in trying to expose the affair of Tristan and Isolde to King Marc. The Barons set traps to entangle Tristan and Isolde and catch them in the act of consummation, on multiple occasions, when King Marc might have discovered the affair for himself. Dalí highlights the King in a window, poised to see the Barons as they are trying to interject the affair into his mind – but the King's eyes are closed and he does not see the Barons’ clues that are left for him. The betrayal is shown front and center as a Baron stabs what must be a combined symbol for Tristan and Isolde, in the heart. Expertly rendered in surreal fashion, Dalí uses his unique and dynamic imagery to set the moment with suspense.