0253-The invisible man (1929)

Oil on canvas, 80 x 140 cm Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid

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The invisible man (1929)
L’homme invisible

Analysis: Though begun in 1929, “The Invisible Man” was not completed until 1932. It was the first painting in which Dalí began to use the double images that were to flood his work over the next decade, during his “paranoia-critical” period. The double images used here are not as successful as the later painting, “Swans Reflecting Elephants” (1937). The viewer is aware of the illusions that Dalí is creating before they are aware of what the overall form is meant to be.
The yellow clouds become here the man’s hair; his lace and upper torso are formed by ruined architecture that is scattered in the landscape and a waterfall creates the vague outline of his legs. As with almost all Dalí’s work in 1929, this painting deals with his fear of sex. The recurring image of the “jug woman” appears on the left of the picture. To the right of her is an object with a womb shape, part of which delineates the right arm of the man. The dark shape outlining the fingers and legs of the man suggests the female form. Beneath the man a wild beast is prowling – another of Dalí’s recurring sexual symbols.

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.