Madonna of Port Lligat

Artist: Salvador Dalí
Created: 1949
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 19.5 x 15.0625 in.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Haupt
Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art

The Madonna of Port Lligat is the name of two paintings by Salvador Dalí. The first was created in 1949 and is housed in the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette. Dalí submitted it to Pope Pius XII for approval, which was granted. Dalí created a second, larger painting in 1950 with the same title and same themes, with various poses and details changed. The 1950 Madonna is exhibited at the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan.

The paintings depict a seated Madonna (posed by Dalí’s wife, Gala) with the infant Christ on her lap. Both figures have rectangular holes cut into their torsos, suggestive of their transcendent status. They are posed in a landscape, with features of the coast of Port Lligat, Catalonia, in the background, with surrealist details such as nails, fish, seashells and an egg.