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Figure on the rocks (1926)
Personnage sur les rochers
Analysis: This dazzling little picture was painted on a panel of olive wood at Cadaqués during the summer of 1926. By looking at it one arrives at a better understanding of how the monumental architecture of the rocks on the coast around Cadaqués could influence Dalí’s landscapes of the Surrealist period. Here he has faithfully painted the steep cliffs of Cape Norfeu, located between the Bay of Cadaqués and the Port of Rosas. This little landscape, full of nostalgia, is one of the most typical canvases that the Catalonian painter produced during that period; among the others, we must mention “Portrait of Ana Maria” on copper, “Venus and Cupids”, “The Basket of Bread”, and “The Rocks of Llané”, an oil which has now disappeared and on which the artist probably painted another subject, later on, in his Surrealist period. Dalí relates that during the same summer in Cadaqués he painted “Figure on the Rocks – Penya Segats”, “The Basket of Bread”, and began the first picture of the Cubist series: “It’s paradoxical; exactly the same morning I was doing the two works at the same time: “The Landscape of Cape Norfeu” and “Still Life by the Light of the Moon“. The diagonal composition of “Figure on the Rocks” is remarkable. One finds it again and again throughout Dalí’s work: “Blood Is Sweeter Than Honey”, “The Madonna of Port Lligat”, “Hyperxiological Sky”, “The Perpignan Railway Station”, or again in “Tuna-Fishing”. The Catalonian words penya segats in the title mean “rock” (penya), “cut or sliced” (segats).