SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
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SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)

Le cheval de Troie

SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)
Le cheval de Troie
signed and dated 'DALÍ 1969' (lower right)
oil, gouache, India ink and watercolour on paper laid down on canvas
30 1⁄2 x 22 3⁄4 in. (77.5 x 56.2 cm.)
Executed in 1969
Acquired directly from the artist, and thence by descent to the present owner.
Turin, Palazzo Bricherasio, Salvador Dalí: la vita è sogno, November 1996 - March 1997.
Turin, Palazzo Bricherasio, Luci del Mediterraneo, March - June 1997, p. 166 (illustrated p. 52; with inverted dimensions).
Augsburg, Römisches Museum, Dalí: Mara e Beppe, Bilder einer Freundschaft, September - November 2000, p. 99 (illustrated; with inverted dimensions and incorrect medium).
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.
Nicolas and Olivier Descharnes have confirmed the authenticity of this work.


Olivier Camu
Olivier Camu Deputy Chairman, Senior International Director


Created using a mixture of bold swathes of richly-hued pigment and thin strokes of fluid ink, Le grand cheval de Troie is a testament to the enduring appeal of classical antiquity within Salvador Dalí’s creative imagination. Delving into a familiar subject from Greek mythology and legend, the infamous sacking of Troy, the composition focuses on the moment in which the supposed gift of a wooden horse is revealed to be a hollow, faux-sculpture that the Greek forces have hidden within in order to surprise their opponents and breach the battlements. While the composition is dominated by a monumental horse that towers over the scene, its form captured in a rich green hue reminiscent of oxidised bronze, it is the figure of Athena who catches the eye, bathed in the soft golden light of the sun as she hovers above the action.

Dalí had been increasingly drawn to classical mythology in the years immediately following the end of the Second World War, and he sought to interpret recent events in the context of ancient history and myth. In a list of ‘Tastes and Prophecies for the Next Ten Years’, which the artist published in his Dalí News on 25 November 1947, he predicted: ‘After the First World War, it was the Romantics. After the Second World War, it shall be the Classicists’ (quoted in R. Descharnes, Dalí, Lausanne, 1984, p. 292). Using a combination of oil, gouache, watercolour, pen and ink to delineate the scene, Dalí combines delicate fine lines with clouds of glowing colour and spontaneous splashes of ink, heightening the fantastical and magical effect of the imagery that floods the sheet.

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