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This conservation work is a vital part of the Museum’s mission: sharing an expertly curated collection of Salvador Dali works. Without the necessary attention, important pieces within the collection are at risk of being retired to storage. Gifts of any amount are appreciated and all funds will go directly to collection care.
The scene depicts a path lined on both sides by olive orchards leading from Cadaques to the neighboring fishing village of Port Lligat, where Dali would later settle. In the distance, the lighthouse and rocks of Cape Creus are visible. Dali utilizes an impressionist style that exhibits his growing mastery of light. Slate gray dry-stone walls still line the roadway, but today the blooming olive trees no longer exist, killed by blight.
Conservation will remove the discolored varnish, which mars the muted colors and brightness of the painting. Retouching of losses and reversing incorrect techniques will enhance this early oil painting.
The imagery relates to Dali’s preoccupation with the threat of world war in 1938 and Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to avert conflict at all costs by making concessions to Hitler. Telephone diplomacy resulted in the ill-fated Munich Agreement, which would be annulled when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.
The painting needs a new a stretcher to correct the buckling and impressions which mar its surface and interfere with image clarity. It will be cleaned and distortions in the canvas flattened, to insure the imagery is seen as Dali intended. New strip lining will prevent future tears on the margins, and varnishing, if required post-cleaning, will return the image to its original luster.