Exhibits + Collection

The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used as a Table

Artwork Details


The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used as a Table


Salvador Dalí

Date Made


Place Made



Oil on panel


Image: 7 1/8 in x 5 1/2 in

Accession ID Number


Credit Line

Gift of A. Reynolds & Eleanor Morse




Worldwide rights ©Salvador Dalí. Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí (Artists Rights Society), 2017 / In the USA ©Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL 2017. Photo ©Robert Laprelle, Kimbell Art Museum, 2017.

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In his 1935 book The Conquest of the Irrational, Dalí states that his intention was to create “…hand-done color photography… [photography of] the superfine, extravagant, extra-plastic, super-pictorial, super-plastic, deceptive, hyper normal and sickly images of concrete irrationality.” Dalí created hand-painted color photographs on the scale of a snapshot. Through this technique, Dalí has created the perfect enigma, turning the animate into the inanimate by transforming a man into a piece of furniture.

Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) was a Dutch artist of the Baroque era who created ultra-precise studies of domestic interiors, usually featuring women engaged in domestic chores. He was one of Dalí’s greatest heroes. Dalí’s work here refers to one of the Dutch painter’s most celebrated works, The Artist in His Studio(1665-67), in which Vermeer creates a portrait of himself painting a model. In Dalí’s miniature, he retains the costume of the Dutch master while completely transforming his setting. The scene in Ghost of Vermeer is set in the narrow lane of Port Lligat where it passes the Chapel of St. Baldiri. Vermeer’s pose is the same as Dalí’s own self-portrait in Grasshopper Child, possibly indicating Dalí’s identification with the Dutch Masters.

In the words of Mr. Morse, “The extreme contrast [or juxtaposition] causes one’s respect for the paranoiac-critical method to soar, for it transforms the usual into the unique and revitalizes the mundane.”

Exhibition History:
1934, Paris, Jacques Bonjean, “Exposition Dali”
1936, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, “Fantastic art dada Surrealism”
1941, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, “Salvador Dalí Retrospective 1941-42”
1942, Indianapolis, The John Herron Art Institute (Indianapolis Museum of Art), [Exhibition of paintings by Salvador Dali]
1943, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Exhibition of paintings by Salvador Dali
1947, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, “Print Club of Cleveland-Salvador Dalí: An Exhibition”
1954, Roma, Sale dell'Aurora Pallavicini, “Mostra di quadri disegni ed oreficerie di Salvador Dalí”
1954, Venice, “Mostra di quadri disegni ed oreficerie di Salvador Dalí”
1954, Milan, “Mostra di quadri disegni ed oreficerie di Salvador Dalí”
1965, New York, Gallery of Modern Art, “Salvador Dalí, 1910-1965”
1983, Barcelona, Palau Reial de Pedralbes, “400 obres de Salvador Dalí del 1914 al 1983”
1997, Sao Paulo, Museum of Art, "Dali Monumental"
1998, Rio de Janeiro, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, "Dali Monumental"
2004, Barcelona, CaixaForum, “Dalí. Cultura de masses”
2005, Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, “Salvador Dalí and Mass Culture”
2005, St. Petersburg, Salvador Dalí Museum, “Salvador Dalí and Mass Culture”
2007, St. Petersburg, Fl., Salvador Dalí Museum, “Dalí and the Spanish Baroque”
2018, Dallas, Meadows Museum, "Dali: Poetics of the Small 1929-1936"

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