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Table solaire

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  • Anna Sikabonyi asked

    Dear Sir/Madam, I have some questions about this painting, because I really love Salvador Dalí's work. Firstly, I would like to know what objects are included in this picture? Furthermore, why is there no water in the picture? Is this important or not really? Yours sincerely, Anna

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Anna! Good questions! In his art, Dalí often uses motifs from everyday reality. The elegant table for example, comes from a local café that Dalí regularly visited. The table supports three coffee-glasses with spoons in them, and a single coin. The tiles resemble the tiles that were being installed in his kitchen at the time. In the background on the left, we see a camel with an egg-headed, faceless man riding it. A bust (with a face) seems to be resting on the head of the camel, but is actually supported by a column. The bust portrays the father of the artist. Down in the right corner, a piece of ancient pottery lies in the sand. Close to it, a yellow package of Camel-cigarettes lies on the ground and forms a visual play together with the previously mentioned camel. The boy, seen in silhouette, may represent Dalí. The absence of water is a typical surrealistic choice: often confusion is created by combining objects that do not have any logical connection. We see beached boats in a desert. This work belongs to a series of works that are also referred to as ‘white paintings’, and are said to refer to Dalí’s youth. The depicted figures and objects in these white paintings seem to appear from nothing, like in a fata morgana.
    Best, Tanja

  • Arthur asked

    Could you tell me more about the "white paintings" ? And, what is the technique used by Dali ? Finally, in which context did he paint it ? Thank you

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Arthur, Dalí often took the motifs in his paintings from everyday reality. The elegant table in this painting came from a café in Cadaqués, the Catalan fishing village near his birth place Figueras that Dalí kept visiting regularly as an adult. When he was working on this painting he had similar tiles to those depicted laid in his kitchen. The technique is Oil on panel. kind regards, Sophie

  • Arthur asked

    Could you tell me more about the "white paintings" ? And, what is the technic used by Dali ? Finally, in which context did he paint it ? Thank you

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Arthur,
    The elegant table in this painting came from a café in Cadaqués, the Catalan fishing village near his birth place Figueras that Dalí kept visiting regularly as an adult. When he was working on this painting he had similar tiles to those depicted laid in his kitchen. Dali thus used motives from real life to create his surrealist world in his paintings.
    Best regards,
    Frederieke

  • Al B. Quirky asked

    The following lines appear in Bob Dylan's song "Farewell Angelina":

    Just a table standing empty by the edge of the sea/
    Means farewell, Angelina, the sky is trembling and I must leave

    Do you think Dali's Table Solaria was the inspiration for this? Thanks.

    Al

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Al,
    What an interesting observation! I am not sure however, the Table Solaire is definitely not empty…
    Best,
    Frederieke

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Dalí often took the motifs in his paintings from everyday reality. The elegant table in this painting came from a café in Cadaqués, the Catalan fishing village near his birth place Figueras that Dalí kept visiting regularly as an adult. When he was working on this painting he had similar tiles to those depicted laid in his kitchen.

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Collection book

Collection book Order

Specifications

Title Table solaire
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 46 cm
Height 60 cm
Artists Kunstenaar: Salvador Dalí
Accession number 2938 (MK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1977
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1977
Age artist About 32 years old
Collector Collector / Edward James
Exhibitions Een paraplu, een naaimachine en een ontleedtafel. Surrealisme à la Dalí in Rotterdam. (2013)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
The Collection Enriched (2011)
Gek van surrealisme (2017)
External exhibitions Dalí, Ernst, Miró, Magritte... (2016)
Dal nulla al sogno (2018)
Dalí (2012)
Surreal Encounters - Collecting the Marvellous (2016)
Material
Object
Geographical origin Spain > Southern Europe > Europe

Please note: The metadata of this object have not been checked.
Contact a curator if something seems incorrect.

Author: Marijke Peyser

When Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen purchased Salvador Dalí’s Table solaire from the British collector Edward James in 1977, the museum already owned three of Dalí’s works: the gouache Shirley Temple, le plus jeune monstre sacré du cinéma de son temps, the painting Le visage de la guerre, and the sculpture Vénus de Milo aux tiroirs. Table solaire was acquired along with a number of other Surrealist works, including Dalí’s Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope.

Table solaire is one of the series of paintings made between 1935 and 1936 that depict the coastal area around the Spanish seaside resort of Rosas. These ‘white paintings’ may refer to Dalí’s youth.[1] The table with glasses, for example, can be linked to the El Casino café in Cadaqués, where Dalí regularly stayed.[2]

The figures and objects in these white paintings emerge as if from nothing, as in a mirage. Artistically Table solaire is one of the highlights of Dalí’s work from the 1930s. It is a splendid example of utensils that are placed outside their everyday environment in a strange world and consequently make an impression as new as it is unexpected. While Dalí was working on Table solaire a tiled floor was being laid in the kitchen of his house in Port Lligat, and the painter reproduced it faithfully on the canvas. The camel in the background is the imperturbable ‘carrier’ of two figures. The rider is also portrayed in a number of other works Dalí was working on in 1936. The same man is shown standing in his Pharmacien d’Ampurdan ne cherchant absolument rien (1936). The bust on the camel’s head represents the artist’s father and first appeared in Dalí’s work after the rift with his father in the early 1930s.[3] The related imagery of the camel and the pack of Camel cigarettes lying at the boy’s feet is striking. Dalí later referred to an article by Martin Gardner in the Mathematical Games column of the magazine Scientific American, in which Gardner explained how there were remarkable coincidences on the wrapping of the Camel packet.[4] One example is the word ‘Choice’ on the side of the pack, which remains legible when seen in a mirror. The artist maintained that he had already had a premonition of these discoveries more than thirty years earlier and this is why he depicted the pack of Camel cigarettes in this work.

 

Footnotes

[1] For the term ‘white paintings’, see Stuttgart/Zurich 1989, p. 185.

[2] Ibid., p. 187.

[3] Dalí’s father strongly disapproved of the love affair that Dalí began with Gala in 1929 – she was ten years his senior and still married to Paul Éluard. He barred his son from the parental home.

[4] Rotterdam 1970, cat. no. 44.

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All about the artist

Salvador Dalí

Figueras 1904 - Figueras 1989

Salvador Dali got to know the author André Breton - the founder of the surrealist movement - while he was studying in Madrid. In 1924, Breton wrote the first...

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