Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Le corridor de Palladio avec surprise dramatique

signed and dated bottom right 'Salvador Dalí 1938'--oil on canvas
28¾ x 41 in. (73 x 104.1 cm.)

Painted in 1938
Mr. and Mrs. R. Kirk Askew, Jr., New York
Lily Daché, New York
Galleria Gissi, Turin
B. Valla, Turin
Segialan Anstalt, Vaduz
James Goodman Gallery, Inc., New York
R. Morse, Dalí, A Study of His Life and Work, New York, 1958, p. 55
S. Dalí, Dalí de Draeger, New York, 1968, no. 146 (illustrated) I. Gómez de Liano, Dalí, Barcelona, 1983, no. 82 (illustrated) R. Descharnes, Salvador Dalí, The Work, The Man, New York, 1984, p. 234 (illustrated in color)
R. Descharnes, Salvador Dalí, New York, 1985, p. 88, no. 68 (illustrated)
R. Descharnes and G. Néret, Salvador Dalí, 1904-1989, Cologne, 1994, vol. I (The Paintings 1904-1946), p. 300, no. 669 (illustrated in color)
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Salvador Dalí, Paintings, Drawings, Prints, Nov., 1941-Jan., 1942, pp. 22 and 27, no. 40 (illustrated in color, p. 67)
New York, Gallery of Modern Art, Salvador Dalí 1910-1965, Dec., 1965-Feb., 1966
Turin, Galleria Gissi, Temi Cavallereschi e Religiosi nell'ultimo Salvador Dalí e dipinti del Surrealismo, 1970, no. 3 (illustrated in color)
Rotterdam, Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Dalí, Nov., 1970-Jan., 1971, no. 60 (illustrated)
Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Salvador Dalí, rétrospective 1920-1980, Dec., 1979-April, 1980, p. 313, no. 255 (illustrated in color)
London, Tate Gallery, Salvador Dalí, May-July, 1980, p. 28, no. 163
Paris, Artcurial, Les noces catalanes: Barcelone-Paris, 1870-1970, May-July, 1985, p. 104, no. 42
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, 20th Century European Masters, Dec., 1985-Jan., 1986

Lot Essay

In January, 1938, the International Surrealist Exhibition opened at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, marking the height of the movement's impact. Despite Dali's arguments with André Breton, the artist's work was still exhibited in this and other shows throughout the year. During this time Dalí traveled extensively, painting both Palladio's Corridor of Dramatic Surprise and Palladio's Thalia corridor (Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam) in Paris upon his return from a long sojourn with Gala in Italy. During this trip they had spent a great deal of time in Vicenza, where the artist had seen the Olympic theater, the palaces and villas, and other buildings designed by Italy's foremost architect of the sixteenth century, Andrea di Pi, called Palladio.

Designed according to a very classic formula, composed of intersecting diagonals with the forms carefully regulated, Palladio's Corridor of Dramatic Surprise reveals the influence of Dalí's Italian travels. Dalí, however, replaces the architectural scenery of the Olympic theater with rows of human figures. Dalí became something of a devotee of Italian tradition in his painting technique as well. As James Thrall Soby commented:

In the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the recent war, Dalí made three extended visits to Italy. The effect of these visits has been increasingly evident in his painting.... He has developed a new esteem for painters of Mannerism and the Baroque. The influence of the Baroque is particularly noticeable in Palladio's Corridor of Thalia, Palladio's Corridor of Dramatic Surprise, and Group of Women Imitating the Gestures of a Schooner. The first two pictures are exuberantly handled, with obvious relish in the values of impasto, and their long slashing highlights suggest the technique of Magnesco. (op. cit., exh. cat., New York, 1946, p. 22)

Soby attributes the "frenzied motion" of these works to the influence of the Baroque, noting however that "their elegant elongation of forms derives from pre-Baroque Mannerism," probably adapted from Spanish rather than from Italian sources. Dalí's richly exotic characters, gesturing wildly at each other, naturally create a sense of drama and disquiet typical of Baroque art. But his work is also full of contemporary references: many of his figures hold telephones, a motif which appears frequently at this time and which can be seen as an emblem of menace within the context of the Civil War in Spain and the growing threat of war in Europe. Dalí has thus created a work which reflects modern times and is indebted to a number of historical sources as well. His individuality and ingenuity gradually separated him from Surrealist activity and led him into a new phase in his art.