0222-Bather (1928)

Oil, sand and gravels on panel, 71,7 x 52 cm The Salvador Dali Museum, St Petersburg (Florida)

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Bather (1928)

Analysis: One of the first things that people often notice about this work is the texture of the foreground, or the strange shape of the main figure in the center of the painting. Both of these represent radical departures for Dalí, and in fact, this painting marks the start of Dalí’s Transitional Period during the year of 1928.
The work is a continuation of the theme presented in “Bather” except that Dalí has reduced the figure to a single distorted big toe. Off the coastline, Dalí creates a stylized rendering of the Ise of Farnera, which lies off the coast of Port Lligat.
Unfortunately for Dalí, the reaction against both “Bather” and this work were somewhat hostile, and caused his father much distress. Although he has supported his son through his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, the senior Dalí still hoped that his son would pursue a more traditional occupation.
The strange figures and use of multimedia in this work precede Dalí’s even more outrageous Surrealist works, but are marked by a period of increased stress between Dalí and his father which was to climax in their eventual 20+ year rift over his lover Gala Eluard in 1929.