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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.