Happy Salvador Dalí Day!

May 11, 2020

One of the most famous, interesting, eccentric and talked-about personalities in art history, Salvador Dalí combined avant-garde subject matter with academic style, paving the way for generations of artists to come. A truly prolific artist, he produced Surrealist works on canvas and works on paper for reproduction using drypoint, etching, woodcut, and lithography. His visual language, as well as his personal behavior and public actions, remain bizarre, intriguing, and inspiring.

On his 116th birthday, we bring together a selection of Dalí works on paper that you can add to your collection.

Featured image: Salvador Dali - Adam et Eve from the Homage a Albrecht Durer Suite (detail), 1971. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.

Crucifixion, 1987

The poster Crucifixion from 1987 is a print of Salvador Dalí's 1954 oil-on-canvas painting, depicting Christ on the polyhedron net of a tesseract (hypercube). In this period, Dalí became fascinated with nuclear science, feeling that "thenceforth, the atom was [his] favorite food for thought". In this work, he combines classical elements with ideas inspired by mathematics and science. This poster was created for the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Ying & Yang, 1989

Through his art, Dalí sought to vanquish his father figures. This theme appears repeatedly in his paintings of the 1930s both as references to the legend of William Tell and through depictions of a father and son walking alone through arid landscapes. This pure silk limited edition print was printed by LATOUR Martigny in 1989.

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Moïse, 1974

A silver bas relief plaque with silver patina, Salvador Dalí's Moïse from 1974 was on the cover of burgundy suede clamshell portfolio that contains a set of ten signed and numbered drypoints and lithographs in colors, hors-texte, title, text in French and justification, made on lambskin.

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Le Roi Marc from Tristan et Iseult, 1970

Dalí often used literary subjects in his work, from Dante to Don Quixote. A color etching on arches paper, Le Roi Marc from Tristan et Iseult from 1970 depicts the surrealist version of King Mark from the epic medieval poem Tristan and Isolde. Shown in profile, the king features a wondrous crown with a spotted duck peering over the front.

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Henry V, 1970

Dalí brought to life a diverse range of literary classics, but the one writer Dalí repeatedly returned to was William Shakespeare. Printed by Ateliers Rigal in 1970, Henry V belongs to the Much Ado about Shakespeare portfolio. The portfolio consists of 15 drypoint etchings with color. The artist engraved the plates with fluidity and energy to depict Shakespeare’s protagonists and convey his feeling for them.

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Adam et Eve from the Homage a Albrecht Durer Suite, 1971

An etching published by Vision Nouvelle, Adam et Eve belongs to the 1971 Homage a Albrecht Durer Suite and is a Surrealist rendering of the Biblical couple. They are depicted while eating the apple from the tree of knowledge, which made them open their eyes and realize they are both naked.

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Barometer Woman (Barometer) from Time, 1976

Throughout his career, Dalí revisited his most iconic motif, melting clocks. Sometimes referred to as soft or droopy watches, this motif generates a variety of interpretations. While some scholars associate this symbol with the omnipresence of time and its mastery over humans, others believe they are a symbol for Albert Einstein’s groundbreaking Theory of Relativity. This enduring motif is also present in Barometer Woman that belongs to the Time portfolio from 1976.

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Athena, 1963

An etching on arches paper, Athena from 1963 belongs to Dalí's The Mythology portfolio. In both his written and pictorial work, there are many mythological references. This interest in mythology stemmed from his admiration for the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who taught that ancient myths reveal fundamental truths about the human psyche. In this work, the artist depicts the birth of Athens.

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Sorcieres au Balais (Witches with Broom), 1968

Belonging to the Faust portfolio from 1968, Sorcieres au Balais (Witches with Broom) depicts two sorceresses flying away on a broomstick. The second female figure stands to the side, obscured in a few patches of darkness. The work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Pierre Argillet.

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Les Aigrettes (The Egrets), 1969

An original drypoint etching with roulette, Les Aigrettes (The Egrets) belongs to the Venus in Furs portfolio from 1969. It is inspired by the novel written by Austrian author, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, revolving around a man whose chief pleasure was to be thrashed by a beautiful woman wearing nothing more than a fur coat.

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