Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
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Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)


Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
signed and dated 'Dalí 1969' (lower right); signed 'Dalí' (on the reverse)
gouache, watercolour, brush and India ink and wash on paper laid down on canvas
30 3/4 x 22 1/4 in. (78 x 56.5 cm.)
Executed in 1969
Acquired from the artist by the family of the present owner.
Bruges, Stichting Sint-Jan, Salvador Dalí, Doeken en Aquarellen, July - November 1997.
Augsburg, Römisches Museum, Dalí, Mara e Beppe, Bilder einer Freundschaft, September - November 2000.
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.
Please note that the medium is gouache, watercolour, brush and India ink and wash on paper laid down on canvas, and the dimensions of the sheet are 30 ¾ x 22 ¼ in. (78 x 56.5 cm.), and not as stated in the printed catalogue.


From the frescos in the Library of the Vatican showing The Laestrygonians Attacking Ulysses’s Ships dating from 40-30BC, to Henry Moore’s Odyssey from 1944, the story of Odysseus and his long journey home at the end of the Trojan War has captured the imagination of artists from the ancient world to the present day. Commissioned from the artist by the family of the present owner in the 1960s, Salvador Dalí’s Odyssey now joins this artistic canon. The commission for this series closely followed the completion of Dalí’s masterpiece Tuna Fishing (Descharnes 1267; Ile de Bendor, Fondation Paul Ricard), which he completed in the summer of 1967. This painting ‘combined all the styles he had worked in: Surrealism, “refined Pompierism”, pointillism, action painting, tachism, geometrical abstraction, Pop art, Op art and psychedelic art’ (R. Descharnes, Salvador Dalí, The Paintings 1904-1989, Cologne, 1994, p. 567).

Indeed the present work reflects the same formal and conceptual concerns, described by the artist himself as ‘a revival of representational art, which was underestimated by everyone except the Surrealists throughout the period of so-called ‘avant-garde’ art’ (Dalí, quoted in op.cit.).Throughout his career, Dalí executed illustrations for editions of classical literature, including Don Quixotte, The Divine Comedy and Macbeth. However unlike these, his Odyssey has remained a private commission and has not been published. Thus this work offers new and exceptional insight into Dalí’s original and fecund relationship with classical and literary tradition, and his constant search for an avant-garde re-interpretation of myths and iconographies.

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