Copyright Foundation P Delvaux - St Idesbald, Belgium/DACS, London 2007

In Storage

Paul Delvaux

A Siren in Full Moonlight

Delvaux studied architecture in Brussels before pursuing a career as a painter. He was already developing a personal vision that featured nudes in architectural landscapes when he encountered a Surrealist exhibition in Brussels in 1934. He was much influenced by de Chirico and Magritte and although he never joined a Surrealist group he was closely associated with the movement.

The Siren is typical of his work with its dreamlike atmosphere, classical architecture and enigmatic nude. In Greek mythology sirens would lure sailors to their deaths and mermaids are also associated with sex and seduction. But Delvaux's alluring siren seems to hold no threat, casually studying her tail in an eerily deserted street.

Medium oil on panel
Date 1940
Dimensions 1119mm x 1800mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1963/87
Credit Line Bequeathed in 1963 by Arthur Tilden Jeffress