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Selfportrait with the neck of Raphael (1921)
Autoportrait au cou de Raphaël
Analysis: Here we see Dalí at the age of about seventeen at the top of the road that dominates all Cadaqués and leads to the cove of Seboya. The village appears in the background, sparkling in the morning sunshine. Behind Dalí we see what is nearly an island, Sortell, the estate of the Pichots. Dalí often went to this spot to paint the landscape in different lights. Speaking of this canvas, which is small in size, he relates: “At that time they called me Senor Patinas because I wore sideburns; it was in the middle of my student days at the Academy of Fine Arts, in 1921, when these sideburns were the longest. At the time of this painting, my hair was starting to grow but not as much. It was painted by the light of the setting sun. Sometimes I got up at dawn and I worked on four or five pictures at the same time. My canvases were brought to me, but I myself was wearing an outfit with all the brushes attached to it by strings, which made me into a sort of hippie! It allowed me immediately to grab the brush I needed. Later I wore a mechanic’s suit which was so smeared with glue as to become a veritable suit of armor.” All Dalí’s interest is turned to the atmosphere of the picture; for the sake of accuracy, he had to return to the scene every day at the exact hour when the sun hit the village, leaving the cliff in the foreground in the shadow, where he placed himself. Then he worked on the likeness of himself in front of a mirror in his studio during the hot hours of the day.