0166-Portrait of the artist’s father (1925)

Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm Museo de Arte Moderno, Barcelona

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Portrait of the artist’s father (1925)
Portrait du père de l’artiste

Analysis: The imposing presence in this portrait reveals, better than is possible in writing, the strong personality of the notary Salvador Dalí y Cusi, the artist’s father. Dalí has superbly portrayed that paternal authority against which less than five years later he was destined to revolt, shortly after his meeting with Gala. He recounts that his father always intimidated him more than anyone else. This feeling is clearly shown by the pose of the sitter, the construction of the picture, the lighting, and the neo-realistic technique inspired by Andre Derain. The portrait was painted in the summer of 1925 at Cadaqués in fifteen sittings; Dalí, who cannot remember exactly how much time he has spent on a picture, claims to have done it very quickly. We may better appreciate his keen sense of observation if we compare the likeness in this portrait with a pencil drawing of the same period, “Portrait of the Artist’s Father and Sister“, and a photograph in which he posed with his father in 1948, twenty-three years later. The exactness of details in this painting has the merit of causing memories from the time Dalí was painting the work to come back to him. Thus, speaking of the pipe held by his father in his left hand, he remembers that the latter “was always smoking and I myself used to smoke a pipe with wood tar because I thought that I was a detective like Sherlock Holmes, without tobacco. But, if I was only pretending, he was really smoking.” The family did not think that his right hand was placed in a suitable position, but he himself considered it perfectly normal for a father to put his hand wherever he wanted it, even if this spot was exactly where his paternal virility was! In 1925 Dalí exhibited this picture for the first time, in Barcelona at the Dalmau Gallery. In his Secret Life, speaking of this realistic period influenced by Derain and Vermeer, he wrote: “Paris heard rumors that a new painter had just been discovered in Spain. While passing through Barcelona, Picasso had seen my “Girl’s Back” and had praised it highly. I knew that on the day of my arrival in the capital I would put them all in my bag.” Later he used this realistic technique in most of his Surrealist works and he remained faithful to it his whole life in certain canvases, when this seemed necessary to him.
Source: dali-gallery.com

0162-Pierrot playing the guitar (1925)

Oil on canvas, 149 x 198 cm Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

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Pierrot playing the guitar (1925)
Pierrot jouant de la guitare

Analysis: “Pierrot Playing the Guitar“, also called “Harlequin” with “Siphon And Small Bottle of Rum“, was painted in 1925, using oil on canvas. The painting shows that Dalí was still working in a Cubist style. The piece is an exploration of different, connecting and opposing forms. The palette is subdued, with limited color used, in typical Cubist style, with emphasis on form, not on color.
This work shows an early attempt at visual illusion and double images. At first glance, there appears to be one clown in the picture, but the image is actually two clowns standing one behind the other to create the appearance of just one figure. The pierrot can be seen only in outline, his shape delineated by one bold, jagged line, a technique that Dalí uses in “The Spectral Cow” (1928). Behind the pierrot is a harlequin, who is composed of shadowy blocks that stand out against the pastel background of the wall behind them. The two clowns appear to be a piece of collage; the rectangular shape of their legs has a shadow falling behind it, as if the clowns were made from paper stuck to the room.

0159-Girl from the back (1925)

Oil on canvas, 73,5 x 103 cm Museo nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid

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Girl from the back (1925)
Jeune fille de dos (1925)

Analysis: “Girl from the Back” was painted in 1925, using oil on canvas. The girl in the painting is Ana Maria, Dalí’s younger sister. She was also the model for “Figure at a Window“. Seated Girl was included in Dalí’s first solo exhibition at the Dalmau Gallery in Barcelona in 1925, where it was viewed favorably by Pablo Picasso, who Dalí was to meet in Paris the following year.
The painting is almost Classical in style; it is simple and harmonious in content and form, harking back to an earlier period of art that was in revival at the time. As with “Figure at a Window”, Dalí has painted Ana Maria from the rear so that her face is not seen. This viewpoint, while lending the picture an air of intrigue, ensures that the viewer’s eye is drawn, like the girl’s, to the landscape ahead. The golden-brown of the girl’s skin contrasts with the white of the rectangular buildings that stand in the sun ahead of her. The distant hills to the right of the picture repeat the exact color of her skin. The curve of the girl’s naked shoulder accents the lines and corners of the buildings.
Source: dali-gallery.com