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Image of L'Olfa, from the portfolio "Hom'mere II-L'Eautre"

L'Olfa, from the portfolio "Hom'mere II-L'Eautre"

19 1/2 x 25 3/4 in. (49.53 x 65.41 cm)

Roberto Matta (aka Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren) (Santiago, Chile, 1911 - 2002, Civitavecchia, Italy) Primary

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Aquatint etching on paper
Credit Line: Gift of James Hayward
Accession Number: 2007.30.06

SJMA Label Text

Swans, Swine, and Sirens (2013)

In 1937, Chilean painter Roberto Matta joined the Surrealist group in Paris led by Salvador Dalí and André Breton. The Surrealists championed unfiltered modes of expression in their writings and visual works. They believed in the power of dreams and free association. Matta’s approach to painting, however, differed from that of orthodox Surrealism. In his work, Matta aimed to unite his inner psyche with a range of social and political references, including the events of World War II. By the 1970s, he had turned toward mythological and mystical subject matter.

Matta created five print portfolios with images that loosely follow Homer’s Odyssey. The portfolio begins with Odysseus blinding the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus, which enabled him and his men to escape from the giant’s cave. This clever yet gruesome act would enrage Polyphemus’s father, Poseidon. The sea god cursed Odysseus and his men to wander aimlessly on the Aegean Sea, preventing him from returning home to Ithaca for ten years.


Swans, Swine, and Sirens, April 18, 2013 - December 1, 2013, Historic Wing, Paul L. Davies Gallery, San José Museum of Art.

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  • Image Dimensions: 19 1/2 x 25 3/4 in. (49.53 x 65.41 cm)

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