Salvador Dali


Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. This work is an original woodblock from the illustrations for The Devine Comedy, a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321).

Dali Created 101 Watercolor drawings to illustrate the poem. The watercolors were exhibited at the Palazzo Pallavici in Rome, however, the reception of Dali's project in Italy was negative, since it did not seem appropriate for a Spanish artist, much less an irreverent Surrealist and sometime fascist sympathizer, to illustrate a commemorative edition of the greatest Italian poet's masterpiece to be published by the State Press. 

Although the project was dropped in Italy, Dali strove to see it's Completion. In the late 1950s Dali met the French Publisher, Joseph Forget, who has issued Dali's series of lithographs for Cervantes',  Don Quixote in 1958. After Viewing a group of the watercolors for the Divine Comedy.

The engraver Raymond Jacquet with his assistant, Tarrico, created the woodblocks necessary to transfer Dalis watercolors to wood engravings. In Dali's case, anywhere from twenty to as many as thirty- seven separate blocks were need to reproduce the watercolors. This series of prints was strictly controlled, and the approximately 3,000 woodblocks used to create artworks were destroyed after the printing project was complete.

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