Sold with a photo-certificate by Robert Descharnes dated mai 2001.
Allégorie de soie, a gouache maquette for a poster for the 1950 International Silk Convention, excellently demonstrates the importance Salvador Dalí played in the fashion world. By the 1950s Dalí's work had a considerable commercial value, especially in the United States, where the artist had lived from 1940 to 1948. Although he had returned to Europe by 1950, the year of this commission, his popularity and success still boomed in America, and significantly this poster also featured on the cover of the November 1950 issue of the American Fabrics magazine.
From early on in his childhood, Dalí had been conscious of his appearance and henceforth developed into an artist-dandy seeking to communicate messages as much through the organisation of his appearances as by his paintings. His well-known image of the insane genius became an essential quality of his marketability. Ever since the 1930s, when Dalí was in Paris, in the company of the likes of Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiapparelli, he had been greatly influenced by the contemporary world of fashion, and in turn, he too influenced the world of fashion. His collaborations with magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Flair are endless. Dalí's profound influence pervaded the salons and society gatherings of the late 1930s in Paris and eventually the wider world of fashion, which adopted many of his ideas in watered down versions in the years to follow.
In Allégoire de soie, Dalí presents us with an allegory, one of his favourite concepts back from his Surrealist days. Even in this very specific commission the image of silk refers to something else; it does not represent silk as a fabric, but instead he personalises it into a woman, epitomising the luxurious elegance and extravagance associated with silk.