OIL PAINTING: Madonna of Port Lligat, 1950
The Madonna of Port Lligat is the name of two paintings by Salvador Dali. The first was created in 1949, measuring 49 x 37.5 cm, and is now housed in the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dali submitted it to Pope Pius XII for approval, which was granted. Dali created a second painting in 1950 with the same title and same themes, with various poses and details changed, measuring 144 x 96 cm - the one on this page; as of 2004 the 1950 Madonna is exhibited by the Fukuoka City Art Gallery, Japan.
The paintings both depict a seated middled aged Madonna (posed by Dali's wife, Gala) with the infant Christ on her lap. Both figures have rectangular holes cut into their torsos, suggestive of their transcendent status. They are posed in a landscape, with a view of Port Lligat, Catalonia seashore in the background, with various surrealist details, including nails, fish, seashell, egg, and bread. The 1949 Madonna has a sea urchin; the 1950 Madonna has a rhinoceros and additional figures of angels, also posed by Gala.