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Surrealist Composition

Roland Penrose
1949

This painting is a self-portrait of the artist and his wife, Lee Miller. Penrose has chosen to show himself as an African mask as he was an avid collector of African art. Lee Miller is depicted with one large eye or lens in place of her face and a halo of light for her hair, hinting at her career as a photographer.

The picture depicts the artist and his wife at the breakfast table. The artist’s head is in a form inspired by African sculpture. His wife’s head is depicted as one huge eye.