Artwork by Salvador Dalí,  The Divine Comedy (Michler and Lopsinger 1039-1138)

Salvador Dalí
The Divine Comedy (Michler and Lopsinger 1039-1138)

woodblock prints
The complete portfolio comprising 100 woodcuts in colours, 1973, on Rives, in six volumes, each volume with title, text, and table of contents, volume II with the justification, copy numbered 262 from the edition of 350 each volume with a suite of the colour decomposition of one plate, (Le Paradis decompoostion suite missing one plate (Language of the Birds) the full sheets, a deckle edge below. Edition D’Art Les Heures Claires, Paris, 1963
13 x 10.25 ins ( 33 x 26 cms ) ( each sheet )

Auction Estimate: $6,000.00$4,000.00 - $6,000.00

Price Realized $4,200.00
Sale date: September 28th 2021

Private Collection, Merrickville
In the early 1950s, in celebration of the 700th birthday of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the Italian government commissioned Salvador Dalí to create illustrations to accompany a commemorative edition of Dante’s famous poem The Divine Comedy. Dalí’s hyper-realistic, bizarre, and nightmarish imagery perfectly complemented Dante’s descriptions of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Due to public outcry against the commissioning of a Spanish artist to illustrate the work of an Italian cultural hero, the Italian government was forced to revoke its support for the project. Undaunted, Dalí quickly partnered with French publisher Joseph Foret and publishing and editing company Les Heures Claires to resume the project, eventually completing the portfolio in 1963 after 55 months of hard work. One hundred wood engravings were produced - one to accompany each of The Divine Comedy’s verses, and each print was made after Dali’s own watercolour of the same image. Wood engravers carved 3500 woodblocks for the prints that make up the book, with approximately 35 separate blocks used per image. Dali himself thought this suite to be one of the most important of his career and it is considered by many today to be his most incredible and notable work.

Share this item with your friends

Salvador Dalí
(1904 - 1989)