Salvador Dalí - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips

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  • The present work is the original model for the bronze bust sculptures conceived by Dalí in 1965 as an homage to the Italian poet Dante on the 700th anniversary of his birth, following the recently finished wood engravings for the Divine Comedy suites. All the faces were sculpted to represent heaven in the right profile, and purgatory on the left. The golden spoons attached, bent and intertwined, are meant to represent Dante’s iconic laurel wreath. This is the plaster maquette for the bronze edition published by Alfred Wolkenberg, Editions Les Maîtres, Ltd., New York, in collaboration with sculptor Christine Forani, who provided technical assistance with the execution of Dalí’s concept. The work was previously in the collection of Wolkenberg since its creation.


    • Provenance

      Alfred Wolkenberg, New York (publisher of the bronze edition)
      Thence by descent to the present owner

    • Exhibited

      New York World's Fair, Spanish Pavilion, 1965 (bronze variant exhibited)

    • Literature

      Robert Descharnes, Salvador Dalí: The Work The Man, New York, 1984, p. 379 (bronze variant illustrated)
      Karin v. Maur, Salvador Dalí 1904–1989, Stuttgart, 1989, p. 379 (bronze variant illustrated)
      Robert and Nicolas Descharnes, Dalí: The Hard and The Soft, New York, 2004, p. 93 (bronze variant illustrated)

    • Artist Biography

      Salvador Dalí

      Spanish • 1904 - 1989

      Salvador Dalí was perhaps the most broadly known member of the Surrealist movement of the early twentieth century. Heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud, the avant-garde style explored consciousness and dream-like states through exaggerated landscapes and bizarre or grotesque imagery. Using the means of painting, sculpture, printmaking, film and literature, Dalí explored these ideas with a meticulous hand and inventive wit. 

      Although known for his role in Surrealism, Dalí was also a seminal example of celebrity showmanship and the cult of personality, a phenomenon that dominates popular culture today. Always a colorful and flamboyant presence with his signature cape, wide-eyed expression and trademark upturned waxed mustache, Dalí was a master of self-promotion and spectacle.

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Head of Dante

incised with the artist's signature "Dalí" on the neck; signed, inscribed and dated "Dalí 1965" on the back of the head
sculpture 15 7/8 x 7 x 7 3/4 in. (40.3 x 17.8 x 19.7 cm)
base 4 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (12.1 x 10.8 x 10.8 cm)
overall 20 5/8 x 7 x 7 3/4 in. (52.4 x 17.8 x 19.7 cm)

Executed in 1965.

Full Cataloguing

$30,000 - 50,000 

Sold for $100,800

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 19 May 2022