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Dalí i Domènech, Salvador

Family House at Es Llaner Beach

c. 1918
Pencil and ink on paper
14.50 x 21.50 cm.

© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2004.

"One evening when it was very cold and we couldn't leave the house, my brother amused himself making this drawing which we reproduce and which I have kept ever since because it depicts precisely the atmosphere there was in the house during the long summer afternoons in Cadaqués. While he drew and made observations I was watching in amazement as what we had experienced over the previous summer gradually appeared. When he drew it my brother must have been fourteen and myself ten. All the details are exact, except for the roof of the house, which wasn't pointed at the front but rather at the sides. All the rest, when I look at it even today, makes me relive those summers. My little teddy bear, my favourite toy, is sticking his head out of the window. A candle can be seen in another window, because electricity in Cadaqués in those days was so weak that we were sometimes left without any, and you always had to have candles handy. Beneath the dining room window there is a bench, the same one I still have today, and at both window and door there are glass-bead screens that are ideal for frightening the flies and keeping them out. The other window is protected with fine-wire netting, as that was the kitchen window and so had to be protected. I can see granny coming out the door, moving the bead curtain to one side. She is dressed in black. She was short, thin and very pretty. My brother would say that she looked as neat as a reel of black silk thread. Father is reading the paper while mother and aunty are sewing. All of them are sitting on the canvas rocking chairs we used to have then. Close by, I am playing with some friends of mine. The eucalyptus is still small, and behind that tree, which was later to become large and leafy, my brother is painting, surrounded by children from the village watching to see how he does it. In the foreground is Enriquet, our gardener and boat man, stretched out deep in sleep on the beach. He hardly ever did anything, being laziness personified. Our neighbours are coming along the lane with their children to spend the afternoon with us. And so that nothing is missing, even the maids are there, washing the clothes in a sink from the Melos garden, and a cow we used to be very afraid of and stopped us going to get the low-hanging oranges from the orange tree."
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