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In 1860, the Spaniards conquered the city of Tetuan, in North Africa, from the Moroccans. The Barcelona Municipal Council, proud of the victory, ordered paintings on military themes by Mariano Fortuni. The artist did not finish the huge canvas, 300 × 972 cm in size, and the “Battle of Tetuan” has been in storage at the Museum of Modern Art since 1920. By the centenary of the painting in 1962, Dali decided to write its ironic version. His version, written from a photograph in Life, portrayed himself and Galu in the center of the canvas, at the head of a Moroccan detachment.
On the horizon of the picture is a cape that looks more like a cape between Roses and Cadaqués. And the landscape of this ironic canvas more closely resembles not Morocco, but Ampurdan. In 1930, Dali acquired a “shack” from Lydia, which has a strong resemblance to the hut depicted in the center. The work is more like a description of the next adventure of Gala and the author than a tribute to Mariano Fortuni.
Both paintings were exhibited on October 15, 1962 in the Tinel Hall in Barcelona. Dali did not fail to publicly declare that the picture is nothing more than kitsch and even dared to express that she came out as a result of an upset stomach. The picture contains a mishmash of images that do not have integrity and separately feel the responses of quotes from Dali's paintings, which really creates the impression that the author told the truth about the upset stomach. El Salvador, who so freely expressed himself at the exhibition about his work, immediately wrote an indignant review to the press.
H. Hartford, who had previously acquired the work “Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus,” did not attach importance to the opinions of others about the “Battle of Tetuan” and was sincerely interested in the painting. As a result, Dali arranged for the millionaire an individual viewing of the canvas in New York, which, in the end, led Hartford to buy the canvas for his gallery.
Vasily Ivanovich Surikov Pictures