SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
3 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AUSTRALIAN FAMILY COLLECTION
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)

Cavaliers sur la plage (recto); Ésquisse d'un chevalier avec lance (verso)

SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
Cavaliers sur la plage (recto); Ésquisse d'un chevalier avec lance (verso)
signed and dated 'Salvador Dalí 1937' (recto)
gouache, pen and brush and India ink on light brown paper (recto); pen and India ink (verso)
30 7⁄8 x 22 7⁄8 in. (78 x 58 cm.)
Executed in 1937
Edward James, London, by whom acquired directly from the artist; his sale, Christie's, London, 30 March 1981, lot 13.
Dennis Hotz, South Africa.
Acquired from the above and thence by descent to the present owner.
Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, The Edward James Collection. Dalí, Magritte and other Surrealists, August - September 1976, no. 12 (illustrated; titled 'Beach scene with riders').
Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Salvador Dalí, Retrospective, December 1979 - April 1980, no. 477, p. 63 (illustrated; titled 'Sans titre').
London, The Tate Gallery, Salvador Dalí, May - June 1980, no. 179 (in checklist).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
Nicolas and Olivier Descharnes have confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Brought to you by

Micol Flocchini
Micol Flocchini Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Cavaliers sur la plage (recto); ésquisse d'un chevalier avec lance (verso) strikingly displays Salvador Dalí’s extraordinary talents as a draughtsman. The recto intricately features a group of emaciated figures with white-haired horses while the verso depicts an ebauche of knight on horseback carrying a scroll in his right arm. Drawn in 1937, an ominous period of political uncertainty in Europe, and especially in Spain, the work features one of Dali’s most cherished themes, the horse and the rider armed with a scroll.

From the 1930s onwards, Dalí was marked by a strong sense of anxiety about the idea of death which, as did Freud before him, he perceived as the opposite of sexual instinct (Dalí, Genius, Obsession and Lust, p. 56). Over that period, strange shroud-covered spectres, skulls and other clear images of death, putrefaction, decay and dissolution recurrently permeated Dali's dreamscapes and newly-developed paranoiac-critical landscapes. The horseman became a prevalent motif in his works between 1933 and 1936, alluding to the story of Don Quixote as productively as it did to Le chevalier de la mort (The Knight (or Horseman) of Death).

The theme of Le chevalier de la mort in Dalí's art is highly indicative of the turbulent period in which they were made. The subject is founded loosely on the specific Christian theme of the journey of the Knight of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which consistently appears in the artist's work. It echoes the four riders of the Apocalypse immortalised in the eponymous engraving by Albrecht Dürer in 1513.

Literature also played a major role in his influences for the horseman and the emblematic figure of Don Quixote of the Mancha, a hero invented in 1605 by Cervantes, was of particular interest to him. Dali’s horseman indeed mirrors Don Quixote’s systematic representation at horseback, carrying a ling scroll in his hand. The omnipresent duality between socio-political satire and absurd reverie in this novel of chivalry found a pictorial symbolism in Dalí's artistic expression. Four lithographs on Don Quixote were in fact produced by the artist for a French edition of the book in 1964.

The importance of the work within Dalí’s oeuvre is furthered by its deeply personal provenance and important exhibition history. Acquired directly from the artist by Edward James, the work stayed in his personal collection until 1981 before going to a private collection in South Africa where it remained until today. Amongst the prestigious institutions where the work was exhibited, we count the Centre Pompidou in Paris and at the Tate in London.

More from Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper Sale

View All
View All