Saturday, September 13, 2014

Salvador Dalí, Port of Cadaqués (Night)

Salvador Dalí, Port of Cadaqués, 1918

Although Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) is best known for his surrealism, he explored many other styles before he developed his unique vision in the mid-1920s.  Many of Dalí's earlier works are Cubist or Expressionist, but this piece is actually Post-Impressionist.  I can't help but notice that I've posted several pieces that feature boats and water or examine the relationship between light and water, and this painting portrays this interaction very effectively.  The rich colors of sky, water, and the reflected buildings all give the painting a deep, expressive tone.  Dalí used heavy impasto (very thick application of paint) to give the scene that shimmering feel.  The large boat on the left fulfills a similar role to the mountain in the background, framing and bounding the painting and becoming a feature of the landscape.  To me, the reflections of the buildings are the most potent element; the wavy lines almost look as though the paint is running, but instead Dalí used the technique to transport us to Cadaqués so that we can see these lights illluminating the water.

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