1934 painting by surrealist Salvador Dalí. This painting and its companion piece, Skull with Its Lyric Appendage Leaning on a Night Table Which Should Have the Exact Temperature of Cardinal Bird's Nest, feature a flowing almost unrecognizable skull and a piano.
Atmospheric Skull Sodomizing a Grand Piano is set on a beach outside a small coastal Catalan village. The landscape has a couple of buildings in the near background and the shadows of a couple more project across the canvas. There is a small boat in the foreground that lends the painting a sense of realism.
But our attention is drawn to the center of the painting past the boat to where an almost unrecognizable skull is wrestling with a grand piano. The surreal skull has inserted part of its lower jaw under the piano's lid. The act of sodomy to which the painting's title refers.
The skull serves as Dalí's symbol for death, the piano a symbol for art. What you make of death sodomizing art is ... well, frankly, I don't know. Not one of my favorite Dali works, but a disturbing image nonetheless.