Tuna Fishing

Tuna Fishing
Artist Salvador Dalí
Year 1966-67
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Foundation Paul Ricard, Ile de Bandol
Dimensions 119.65 in × 159.06 in
304 cm × 404 cm

Salvador Dalí painted Tuna Fishing in 1967 towards the end of his illustrious career. Many are of the opinion that it was in fact Dali’s last true masterpiece. The painting was dedicated to Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier who was a French painter of the 19th century known for his depictions of battle scenes. In this regard, the creation was subtitled Homage to Meissonier. Dali himself once was quoted as saying it was his most ambitious work due solely to this dedication. It is currently owned by the Foundation Paul Ricard, a private collection in France.


This artwork depicts men acting violently toward large fish. As long golden daggers stab the aquatic creatures, the once pristine blue waters turn to a blood red. To Dali, the men and the fish they are killing personify the universe. It represents a specific and frantic, compressed space that the world can sometimes be.

Art Technique

Tuna Fishing represents a compilation of the many different art form’s Mr. Dali experimented with in his 40 years as an artist. Primarily it is considered part of the Surrealism movement. However, it also includes styles such as Action painting, Op and Pop Art, Pointillism, Psychedelic and Tachisme.

One response to “Tuna Fishing”

  1. Steven says:

    The painting also reads like a poem, “The yachts” by William Carlos Williams. Painting and film lags far behind poetry and prose in departing from linear thinking, flashbacks, stream of consciousness. Dali was ahead of his time, brave in his exploration of mental illness. It could be his recollection and impressions of an actual event that also describes the world as a place of violent struggle. It is also about as old a subject for art as you can get, men hunting together. It prefigures digital glitches in dvds, the pixelation effects. The man in the tank top could be a fragment of memory that intruded itself into the memory of the event, the way memories are not like films that replay over and over, always the same, but can and do get distorted. The nude mail is posed from the waist down like a cupid boy in a painting by Carravagio. Dali was a big fan of Carravagio and wanted to paint like him. The painting makes perfect sense! I love it.

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