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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


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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.


Title Table solaire
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type Painting
Location This object is on view in room 03
Dimensions (general) Width : 46 cm
Height : 60 cm
Makers Artist: Salvador Dalí
Accession number 2938 (MK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1977
Department Modern Art
Acquisition date 1977
Age maker About 32 years old
Collector Collector / Edward James
Exhibitions Gek van surrealisme (2017)
Een paraplu, een naaimachine en een ontleedtafel. Surrealisme à la Dalí in Rotterdam. (2013)
De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
The Collection Enriched (2011)
External exhibitions Dalí (2012)
Surreal Encounters - Collecting the Marvellous (2016)
Dalí, Ernst, Miró, Magritte... (2016)
Material Panel > Worked wood > Wood > Vegetable material > Organic material > Material > Material and technique
Oil > Paint > Artist's material > Material > Material and technique
Object Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Geographical origin Spain > Southern Europe > Europe

All about the maker

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 s..