Salvador Dali 1961-On[Singles]
Not a bad drawing from a 14-year-old!
Translated from the French as Submarine, here we're positively charmed by the fresh, exuberant, creative, fantasy-guided hand of a very young Salvador Domench Felipe Jacinto Dali.
The jovial character with disproportionately long legs grasps a fish in one hand and a periscope in the other, as he sort of blithely streams along above the crude vessel, though it - and everything else in this cartoon-like composition - is adroitly executed by the hand of the future Master of Surrealism.
The long-legged chap is up for air, as is the top of the periscope and - at rear - a fish, which appears to be gasping or belching! Another fish dives into the scene from the upper right. A submarine itself seems a fitting subject for the budding artist, symbolic and prophetic, as it inevitably would become, of the deep depths of the subconscious to which Dali's surrealism would take him.
The basic, whimsical style of Le sous-marin can be legitimately compared with a series of inks on paper that a 13-year-old Dali did for his sister, Ana Maria, which likewise demonstrated his remarkable precociousness (see Salvador Dali: the early years, South Bank Centre, 1994).
Early drawings such as Le sous-marin give us an instructive glimpse into the mind and technique of a young Dali, just beginning to blossom into the young man who would soon become all the rage of Cadaques, the rest of Spain, Europe, America, and the world. Even this far back in his career, we see the respect for careful draftsmanship he would never abandon as the preeminent artistic influence of the 20th century.