0186-The girl of Figueras (1926)

Oil on canvas, 25 x 24 cm Juan Casanelles collection, Barcelona

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The girl of Figueras (1926)
Femme à la fenêtre à Figueras

Analysis: Although Dalí did not date the “The Girl of Figueras“, it was probably painted in 1926, as the style, both of the brushwork and the content, are comparable to other paintings of this period. The “Portrait of my Father“, painted a year earlier, shows similar strong lines and structure of form; both figures in these paintings are depicted with a solidity of presence.
The woman in the painting is Ana Maria, as was usual during this period. Due to the subject of the “The Girl of Figueras“, the painting can be seen as an early attempt by Dalí to re-work “The Lacemaker“. The painting by the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Jan Vermeers, became an obsession with Dalí during the Fifties.
Ana Maria sits sewing on a balcony. As with other paintings of Ana Maria at this time, she is turned away from the viewer so that her face can not be seen. The balcony overlooks the town of Figueras, Dalí’s home town. The blue color of the distant mountains and of the sky contrasts with the sunlit stone of the buildings to capture the viewer’s eye. This blue is repeated in the shimmering blue-black hair of Ana Maria.

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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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

0158-Figure at a window (1925)

Oil on canvas, 75 x 103 cm Museo nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid

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Figure at a window (1925)
Personnage à la fenêtre

Analysis: 1) As a youth, Dalí did numerous portraits of his sister, Ana-Maria, often painted on copper and very small in size. This one, larger and on canvas, is considered as one of the most beautiful. It was shown on Dalí’s first one-man exhibition, in Barcelona at the Dalmau Gallery in November 1925. In her book “Salvador Dalí, visto por su hermana“, Ana-Maria wrote: “The portraits that my brother painted of me during this period are innumerable. Many were simple studies of hair and a bare shoulder.” She remembers the long hours of posing during which, serving as his model, she never tired of “looking at the landscape which from then on and forever was a part of me. Indeed Salvador always painted me near a window!” Such a portrait is “Seated Girl, Seen from the Back“. In “Figure at a Window“, Ana-Maria poses in the room on the first floor of the paternal home in Cadaqués which Salvador used as a studio. When corresponding with Ana-Maria, Lorca wrote: “My stay in Cadaqués was so marvelous that it seemed to me like a beautiful dream, particularly the awakenings with what one sees from the window.” For the painter this room remains associated with a closer, sadder vision. In 1950, while he was working on the little rhinoceros painted in bas-relief on the base of “The Madonna of Port Lligat“, he was told of his father’s death. It was there, in front of that window, that he had seen him for the last time.
2) Both “Figure at a Window” and “Seated Girl Seen from the Back” were painted in 1925, using oil on canvas. The model was Ana Maria, Dalí’s younger sister and only sibling. For a long time Dalí and Ana Maria were extremely close, especially after their mother’s death, when Ana Maria took on the role of mother to the demanding Dalí. Ana Maria was the only female model Dalí used until Gala replaced her in 1929.
In 1949, Ana Maria wrote an autobiography that portrayed a very different view of Dalí to the one he had carefully constructed in his autobiographies; this led to the collapse of their relationship. In revenge for Ana Maria’s disloyalty, Dalí painted another version of this “Figure at a Window” in 1954 and called it “Young Virgin Autosodomized by her Own Chastity“.
As with “Seated Girl Seen from the Back“, we can not see the face of the girl and so our focus is drawn to the view that she is looking at from her window. The view is the bay of Cadaqués, a Spanish seaside town where the Dalís spent their summers. The predominant colors of light blues and lavenders give the painting a peaceful feel that is unusual in much of Dalí’s work.
Source: dali-gallery.com