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Early Dalí painting on show for first time since 1925

Not seen in public for 92 years ‘Figure in profile’ will be on display at Dalí Museum in Figueres until end of 2018



13 November 2017 04:40 PM


ACN | Barcelona

'Figure in profile', an oil on cardboard painting that Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí painted when still an apprentice is on public display for the first time since 1925. On display at the Dalí Museum, 'Figure in profile' features Dalí’s sister, Anna Maria, his main model before his wife Gala came into his life. The painting already shows the fusion between tradition and avant-garde that would become a trademark of Dalí’s paintings.  

'Figure in profile' has been only shown once before, in Barcelona’s Dalmau gallery some 92 years ago. Despite being a very young artist at the time, the exhibition featuring the early Dalí was a success. In fact, it is said that the great Spanish painter Picasso visited and commented on its quality.

Bought for almost €2m

In 1925, Dalí was still an unknown artist. That same year, pharmacist and friend of the Dalí family, Joaquim Cusí, acquired the painting and it has never appeared in public since. Over the years its has changed hands between private individuals until the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation bought it at auction at Bonhams London in March for almost 2 million euros.

  • "Dalí was like a sponge absorbing the different trends"

    Montse Aguer · Curator and director of the Dalí Museum

As the curator and director of the Dalí Museum, Montse Aguer, explains the painter "was like a sponge absorbing the different trends" in search of his own style. In fact, 'Figure in profile’ shows what became one of the main characteristics of the Catalan painter’s work, the fusion of avant-garde and tradition.

The Cadaqués landscape

'Figure in profile' shows the painter’s sister seated and contemplating the landscape of Cadaqués, in northern Catalonia, from a window. It is an image of "calm" drawn with the "simplicity of the lines and the treatment of empty spaces," said Alguer. The colours are soft, wintery, and painted with elaborate details, such as the girl’s curls.

The portrait has never been shown in Figueres, in northern Catalonia, where the Dalí museum is located. 'Figure in profile' can be visited until the end of 2018.


  • 'Figure in profile' at the Dalí Museum in Figueres (by ACN)

  • 'Figure in profile' at the Dalí Museum in Figueres (by ACN)