Sir Roland Penrose

Le Grand Jour

1938

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 762 x 1010 mm
frame: 851 x 1110 x 55 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1964
Reference
T00671

Catalogue entry

Roland Penrose b. 1900 d.1984

T00671 Le Grand Jour 1938

Inscr. ‘R Penrose 38’ b.r. and ‘Roland Penrose Le Grand Jour 38’ on back.
Canvas, 30 x 39¾ (76 x 101).
Purchased from Mrs. Gigi Crompton (Grant-in-Aid) 1964.
Coll: Presented by the artist to Mrs. Gigi Crompton 1946.
Exh: Mayor Gallery, June 1939 (16); Surrealist exhibition, Galerie Robert, Amsterdam (catalogue untraced).

The artist has supplied the following note on this picture: ‘Le Grand Jour is a collage painting although nothing but paint has been applied to the canvas. The images are unrelated to each other but by coming together like images in dreams they produce new associations which can be interpreted in whatever way the spectator may feel inclined. The title Le Grand Jour was invented when the painting was nearly finished. It was suggested by the images which had already found their places on the canvas and which seemed to indicate an atmosphere of excitement and exhilaration centred round the distillation of a dance hall and a sunset in an alembic’ (with letter of 21 August 1964). An alembic is a vessel used in distilling, as shown in the centre of the composition.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.