Night and Day

Image Details

Title Night and Day
Artist Roland Penrose
Year 1937
Location Oil on Canvas
Format Modern
Description Painted in 1937, the work is Roland's first portrait of Lee Miller. The couple had met some six weeks earlier at a surrealist fancy dress party in Paris. Lee, fresh off the plane from Egypt, hadn't the time to source a costume, so Roland belatedly created one with his paintbrush, inspired by the four elements. Her legs are the earth - he considered her a 'grounded' person. Her body is air - a comment, perhaps, on her aloofness. Her head is the sun, representing the radiance of her character and intellect. There is no water, which the surrealists used to symbolise emotion. Roland disliked sentimentality. He's provided three funnels instead, in case any should appear Published in Scrap Book by Roland Penrose, 1981, page 115, La Poligrafa, Barcelona.

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