The Lobster Telephone

who was salvador dalí?

Some of the art styles that influenced him included the Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism, and Futurism. He also explored ideas around the subconscious in his art and was influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories.

contextual analysis

Lobster Telephone by Dalí was commissioned by Edward James. He was a British poet and supported the Surrealism art movement and its development, notably its spread in Britain.

formal analysis of the artwork

subject matter

The work depicts a black Bakelite telephone with a red lobster neatly nestled on top of the telephone’s receiver. The lobster is positioned with its claws and mouth area facing in the right direction.


Although the lobster is not a real lobster, the texture painted on it is implied, for example, the hard surface area of its outer shells. Similarly, the phone has a hard and glossy surface and is the real object.


Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dalí has naturalistic colors, namely the lobster is a red/orange color and the telephone is mostly black.


The type of lines in Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dalí are naturalistic and also described as organic. These appear curved, diagonal, and mostly irregular as these delineate the objects of the lobster and telephone.

shape & form

Lobster Telephone has naturalistic/organic shapes and forms, which are juxtaposed with some geometric shapes from the mechanical structure of the telephone.


Because it is a sculptural piece, it is three-dimensional (compared to a two-dimensional canvas painting). It allows a 360 angle around the piece, which creates a dynamic space.