Swans Reflecting Elephants (1937) is a painting by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí. He explained his process as a "spontaneous method of irrational understanding based upon the interpretative critical association of delirious phenomena." Dalí used this method to bring forth the hallucinatory forms, double images and visual illusions that filled his paintings during the Thirties. As with the earlier Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Swans Reflecting Elephants uses the reflection in a lake to create the double image seen in the painting. Here, the three swans in front of bleak, leafless trees are reflected in the lake so that the swans' necks become the elephants' trunks and the trees become the legs of the elephants. In the background of the painting is a Catalonian landscape depicted in fiery fall colors, the brushwork creating swirls in the cliffs that surround the lake, to contrast with the stillness of the water.
Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.