0177-Venus and a sailor – Homage to Salvat Papasseit (1925)

Oil on canvas, 147 x 216 cm Ikeda Museum of 20th Century Art, Shizuoka (Japan)

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Venus and a sailor – Homage to Salvat Papasseit (1925)
Vénus et un marin – Hommage à Salvat Papasseit

Analysis: This painting is one of the three works that were given the title of “Venus and a Sailor“, all painted in 1925 and shown in Dalí’s first solo exhibition at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona. This “Venus and the Sailor” (also called Departure) shows Dalí to be still exploring his “Neo-Cubist” style, similar to the “Pierrot Playing the Guitar” (1925). Dalí combined the modern with the old through his choice of subject as well as the manner of the portrayal.
The dominating figure of Venus fills most of the foreground, in true Cubist style she seems large and heavy. She is framed by the window behind her, through which can be seen a boat decorated with flags that is standing ready to leave, (explaining the alternative title of Departure). On Venus’s lap is a sailor who, because of the awkward position of his limbs, as if wooden, and his diminutive size, appears to be a toy. Venus is puckering her lips to kiss the vague image of a sailor; only his profile is painted. Dalí also used this ghostly quality in “Pierrot Playing the Guitar” to give just an impression of the harlequin.

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