#FineArtFriday: The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table by Salvador Dalí, 1934

About the painting, from Wikipedia:

The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table is a small Surrealist oil painting by Salvador Dalí. Its full title is The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used as a Table (Phenomenologic Theory of Furniture-Nutrition). It makes reference to The Art of Painting by Johannes Vermeer, a famous seventeenth-century work in which a painter, thought to be a self-portrait of Vermeer, is depicted with his back to us, in distinctive costume. It is one of a number of paintings expressive of Dalí’s enormous admiration for Vermeer.

Vermeer is represented as a dark spindly figure in a kneeling position. The figure’s outstretched leg serves as a table top surface, on which sits a bottle and a small glass. This leg tapers to a baluster-like stub; there is a shoe nearby. The walls and the distant views of the mountains are based on real views near Dalí’s home in Port Lligat. In Vermeer’s painting the artist leans on a maulstick, and his hand is painted with an unusual blurriness, perhaps to indicate movement. In Dalí’s painting Vermeer rests the same arm on a crutch.

What I love about this painting:

I love the composition, the detail Dali puts into Vermeer’s hair and doublet–the attention Vermeer applied to his own work. This speaks to me of the desert, the way the sky looks in the afternoon just as the hottest part of the day slides into a cooler evening. Vermeer, the Master of Light, is enjoying the view. He is shown in a small courtyard, enclosed. Vermeer rarely left his rooms in Delft.


It is unsigned and undated but known to have been completed c.1934. It is currently on display at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, on loan from the E. and A. Reynolds Morse collection.

Credits and Attributions:

Wikipedia contributors, “The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Ghost_of_Vermeer_of_Delft_Which_Can_Be_Used_As_a_Table&oldid=861917029 (accessed March 1, 2019).

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Johannes Vermeer – The Art of Painting (detail) – WGA24677.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Johannes_Vermeer_-_The_Art_of_Painting_(detail)_-_WGA24677.jpg&oldid=268076769 (accessed March 1, 2019).


Filed under writing

5 responses to “#FineArtFriday: The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table by Salvador Dalí, 1934

  1. sigh…one of my earliest memories is of poring over images of famous paintings in the World Book Encyclopedia. I only realise now how lucky we were to have access to such a set, most of my friends didn’t have a set. I gave up painting last year, perhaps forever, but I could never give away my passion for art history. Loving this one because it’s not a work I am familiar with. Thank you!


    • Hello! Yes, my childhood was that way too, only it was Encyclopedia Britannica,lol! I’m sorry you’ve given up painting–my personal artistic abilities run to maps nowadays, although at one time I was fairly good at illustrations. And art history is a joy, a selfish pleasure to reward myself with. I hadn’t any knowledge of Dali because there is so much brilliant work out there and so little time to really look into it all. I was led to this image because of my interest in the original Vermeer and my work re: Rembrandt’s era. Dali’s work is powerful and I hope to have the opportunity to look further into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Are you in the US? Apparently there is a wonderful, world class Dali museum in Florida?? I’ve been to the one in Paris. He was a unique artist in a time of unique artists that’s for sure!! I love Vermeer too. And monet and Edward Hopper. I was very uncool as a teenager in art class. Everyone was into abstraction and I just wanted to paint the light.