Dali believed that The Burning Giraffe was a premonition of war. Both of these paintings contain the image of a giraffe with its back ablaze, an image that Dali interpreted as "the masculine cosmic apocalyptic monster".
The Burning Giraffe appears as very much a dreamscape, not simply because of the subject but also because of the supernatural aquamarine colour of the background.
Against this vivid blue color, the flames on the giraffe stand out to great effect. In the foreground, a woman stands with her arms outstretched. Her forearms and face are blood red, having been stripped to show the muscle beneath the flesh. The woman's face is featureless now, indicating a nightmarish helplessness and a loss of individuality. Behind her, a second woman holds aloft a strip of meat, representing death, entropy, and the human races capacity to devour and destroy.