Papillons perdus dans la montagne (Butterflies Lost in the Mountain)

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  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    61 x 46 cm
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Papillons perdus dans la montagne (Butterflies Lost in the Mountain) might be the equal in terms of style and content to Óscar Domínguez’s most significant works. During his Paris period – so closely linked to Surrealism, and doubtless his best known and most highly praised phase – nostalgia for his Tenerife homeland made him paint pictures like this one, in which he depicts his father’s collection of butterflies, dried and conserved inside a case. Two women in clothes reminiscent of Guanche costume, high up on a mountain (possibly the Teide) gaze in worship at the carrying-case containing the paternal bequest. Other interpretations of the picture argue that it was a gift from the artist to Eduardo Westerdahl, director of the Gaceta de Arte in Tenerife, to commemorate the kite-flying action using black origami birds carried out by Pajaritas de Papel (Paper Birds), a group consisting of poets, actors and artists, founded in the Canary Islands in 1929 for cultural purposes.

Paloma Esteban Leal