This Lot has been sourced from overseas. When au… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Sans titre (Convalescence, illustration pour Pantagruel)

Sans titre (Convalescence, illustration pour Pantagruel)
signed ‘Dali’ (lower right)
pen and ink, felt-tip pen and gouache on paper
70 × 50 cm. (27 1/2 × 19 3/4 in.)
Executed in 1972
Private collection, Europe.
R. and N. Descharnes, Dalí Monumental, exh. cat., Museu de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, p. 142, no. 205 (illustrated in color).
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Lot Essay

Robert Descharnes has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Executed by Salvador Dalí in 1972, the present lot belongs to a series of twenty-five large-scale and highly finished works on paper depicting curious creatures. Dalí took Les Songes drôlatiques de Pantagruel (“The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel”), published in 1565 and considered one of the great pictorial fantasies of the French Renaissance, as his inspiration.

The book of the Songes drôlatiques consists of 120 woodcuts of grotesque figures, and was published without any text apart from a three-page preface. Some of the iconography can clearly be related to images by Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Breughel the Elder, as published in Antwerp by Hieronymus Cock a decade earlier. The French novelist François Rabelais is invoked on the title and in the preface as the creator of this Pantagruelist buffoonery, but his name simply served to advertise the nature of the work. Much ink has flowed on the mysteries and hidden meanings in these woodcuts (such as Protestant propaganda) but there is perhaps no good reason for not taking the author of the preface at his word, that their purpose is only to amuse, specifically to inspire youths and other bons esprits who want to masquerade.

Rabelais’ Pantagruel had long been a source of amusement and inspiration for artists, and in the twentieth century both Joan Miró and André Derain produced work that was based on its wonderfully diverse cast of characters. In the present lot, Salvador Dalí, who was celebrated for the high quality of his draughtsmanship, sets the finely detailed whimsical figure against a vivid green background.

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