The different theories are made up of elements ranging from nuclear physics, pop art and classicism to Catalan philosophers. The painting was done in 1956, and it currently resides at an art museum in St. Petersburg, Florida known as the Salvador Dali Museum. The name living still life translates to Nature Morte Vivante in French. The name comes from the French phrase nature morte, which translates to "dead nature.” Therefore, by adding "Vivante", which means "fast-moving action plus a certain lively quality", Salvador was essentially naming the artwork "dead nature in movement". That plays into his Nuclear Mysticism theme, which combined elements of science, physics and art.

Salvador coined the theory plus the name "Nuclear Mysticism”. In the late forties and early fifties, following World War II, Salvador began to go back to his Catholic roots. Nuclear mysticism is made up of different theories by Salvador that combine art, math, physics and science. Post World War II, Salvador started becoming fascinated by the atom. He stated that after the United States dropped the first-ever atomic bomb in Japan, it shook him seismically, hence the atom became his favourite food for thought. The artist took inspiration from Floris van Schooten, a Dutch painter, and his work Table with Food for the artist's Nature Morte Vivante painting. The painting by Van Schooten, which was a common type of art for its era, was a typical still life depicting drinks and food on a table together with a beautiful crisp white tablecloth. Salvador wanted to give his perspective on it and by showing all the objects in motion, he gave it his surrealist signature.

Also, he added a tablecloth, which looks the same as the tablecloths Van used throughout his paintings. Although most of the objects Salvador portrays are normal things, he has put a spin, figuratively and literally, on the placement of the objects and motion. Salvador wanted to enforce the fact that all objects are always made of atomic particles which are in constant motion, and he portrays this through the scattered items.