Returning to Montreal in 1940 after fifteen years in Paris, Alfred Pellan introduced Surrealist ideas to Quebec through the classes he taught at Montreal's École des Beaux-Arts. The large Surrealist compositions he painted in the 1940s are considered his masterpieces. Under the Blue Sun is among these. Its interlocking geometric and human forms and its figures and shadows devoid of weight or solidity convey a sort of dream experienced in broad daylight. The painting is distinguished by its saturated colours, with the blue sun just above the centre of the canvas complementing the reddish oranges. The title of the painting alludes to Éluard's Surrealist poem “The Earth is blue like an orange”.
© Estate of Alfred Pellan / SOCAN (2021)