Salvador Dalí - Evening & Day Editions London Monday, June 14, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Following in the footsteps of Francis Hayman’s historical narratives, William Blake’s whimsical paintings, and John Everett Millais’ Victorian renditions, Shakespeare’s plays were a recurring subject for Dali throughout his career. In 1946, the artist executed a full-text illustration of Macbeth; and in 1953, he completed a costume and stage design for a production of As You Like It.


    In the set of 15 dry-point engravings that make up Much Ado About Shakespeare, Dali aims to capture the essence of each play, using specific inconographic elements. Embodying several aspects of surrealism, including empty landscapes and contorted forms, while paying close attention to Shakespeare’s language, Dali formulates a visual narrative that breaks away from the stage and into the mind, bringing together the interpretations of the author, artist, and the viewer.


    With their dream-like stories, poignant eroticism, and at times scandalous humour, Shakespeare’s plays are akin to the deeply psychological works of the Surrealist mastermind. Using identifiable cues, and placing his own signature alongside the name ‘Shakespeare’, Dali invites comparison between himself and the playwright.


    Salvador Dali, Design for the set of Romeo and Juliet: Backdrops and Wing Flats, 1942. Image: Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images  © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2021
    Salvador Dali, Design for the set of Romeo and Juliet: Backdrops and Wing Flats, 1942. Image: Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images  © Salvador Dali, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, DACS 2021
    • Literature

      Ralf Michler and Lutz W. Löpsinger 390-405

    • Catalogue Essay

      Including Love's Labours Lost; Richard III; Henry VI; Richard II; The Taming of the Shrew; Henry VIII; King John; All's Well That Ends Well; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Cymbeline; Henry IV; Timon of Athens; Henry V (a); Troilus and Cressida; Henry V (b); and Two Gentlemen of Verona

    • 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.

      View More Works


Much Ado About Shakespeare II (M. & L. 390-405)

The complete set of 16 drypoints in colours, on Japanese paper, with full margins.
all I. 17.8 x 12.7 cm (7 x 5 in.)
all S. 44.5 x 31.1 cm (17 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.)

All signed, annotated 'E.A' and consecutively numbered 1-16 in pencil (one of 25 artist's proofs on Japanese paper, the edition was 250 on Japanese paper, 250 on BFK Rives and 25 artist's proofs on BFK Rives), published by Editions Graphiques Internationales, Paris, all unframed.

Full Cataloguing

£6,000 - 8,000 ‡♠

Sold for £7,560

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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 14 - 15 June 2021