With his signature waxed mustache and his flair for self-promotion, Salvador Dalí (1904 – 1989) was one of the most famous and versatile artists of the 20th century. He was a painter, printmaker, theatre designer and, in collaboration with other artists, maker of films, photographs, and sculptures. After being expelled from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Dalí began to associate with Surrealist writers and artists, such as André Breton, who shared his interest in the work of Sigmund Freud. Dalí used Freud’s theories about the importance of subconscious images to produce imaginative paintings in which everyday objects were transformed in bizarre ways. Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory (1931), made during the period when he produced his most well known paintings, is considered to be one of the most important examples of Surrealism in painting. Later in his career, Dalí painted in a more traditional style, often focusing on historical and religious themes.
One of Dalí’s outrageous publicity stunts was to sell, beginning in 1965, signed sheets of blank lithograph paper for $10, a practice he continued for the rest of his career. Dalí was a particularly prolific maker of conventional prints and he made nearly 1,700 etchings, engravings, lithographs, and other prints during his life. In the 1930s, Dalí created illustrations for the publications of Surrealist writers and poets.
One of the best known examples of his early work with books is the 1934 edition of the pre-surrealist novel Les Chants de Maldoror for which he created forty-two original illustrations. Dalí’s later graphic work includes suites of prints completed as illustrations for editions of classic works such as Macbeth (1946), Alice in Wonderland (1969), and The Old Man and the Sea (1974). Perhaps most famously, Dalí created a suite of one hundred illustrations for Dante’s The Divine Comedy that was published as a portfolio of wood engravings in 1964.
Books by Salvador Dalí available from Boreas Fine Art:
[ Dali, Salvador ] Apollinaire, Guillaume. Poèmes Secrets. Paris: Éditions Argillet. 1967.
[ Dalí, Salvador ] Malraux, André. Roi, Je t’Attends à Babylone. Geneva: Albert Skira. 1973.
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