|Courtesy of www.dalipaintings.com|
While a student at the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, Dali's friends inducted him into a small but militant coterie of advanced painters and poets who actively promoted international avant-garde art and letters in the Spanish capital. Although Dali had come into contact with advanced Italian and French painting through art magazines and newspaper articles, it was not until 1923-24 that he participated in the activities of the Spanish avant-garde as a full member.
Between 1923 and 1925 Dali executed a series of paintings that show the influence of Paul Cezanne and Pablo Picasso to varying degrees. Bouquet of 1924 belongs to this group. Recalling the non-finito of Cezanne's late paintings, Dali draws a formal analogy between the petals of the roses, the faceted planes of the window blinds, and the reflections in the water of the vase. At the same time, Dali's precise line demonstrates his commitment to traditional drawing practices, as the young painter enthusiastically responded to the work of JeanAuguste-Dominique Ingres and the postwar classicism of Juan Gris, whose move from cubism to a more traditional figuration was discussed in the avant-garde journal Alfar, which Dali read. The result in Bouquet is a kind of hybrid, home-grown modernism that effectively demonstrates an original, if somewhat conflicted, interpretation of foreign avant-garde currents in contemporary Spanish painting.