A master of the surreal arts, Salvador Dali’s works relentlessly challenged convention by questioning our understanding of the ‘real’. This ambition grew into the conception of Surrealism, the main objective...
A master of the surreal arts, Salvador Dali’s works relentlessly challenged convention by questioning our understanding of the ‘real’. This ambition grew into the conception of Surrealism, the main objective of which was to make accessible to art the realms of the unconscious, irrational and the imaginary. This meticulous work on paper is an apt example of this aim, being an illustration for a short story entitled ‘En attendant de chocolat’ for Dali’s 14 page series, Memoires de Cazanova. This was a 14-page suit of original engravings and lithographs, which were accompanied by watercolours and preparatory drawings.
Published in 1967, Dali illustrated seven tales written by Giacomo Casanova, the famous adventurer, author and womanizer. Casanova’s name remains synonymous with the art of seduction. Although multi-faceted and complex, Casanova's personality was dominated by his sensual urges: “Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life; I never found any occupation more important”. Dali created works that provoke and liberate desire from the rational mind, adding a Dalinian, Surreal twist to Casanova’s tales. The stories include: Six oeufs; Du beurre, du miel, et du safran; L’amour sommelier; Un ambigu stimulant; Le souper de Nina; Le jeu des huitres; and En attendant le chocolat.
Born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, Salvador Dali is known for his technical skill as a painter and the shocking quality of his imagination. His pioneering spirit was also accompanied by a reverence of tradition and a will for continuity. Dali consistently depicted the landscape of his homeland, one that became synonymous with the landscape of the imagination and of dreams. He forged in his long career a remarkable body of work, and his life demonstrates the richness of living creatively in every aspect of one’s existence. Salvador Dali was the only surviving male child of a prosperous Catalan family that divided its time between Figueres and the coastal village of Cadaqués. Dali attended a prominent art academy in Madrid. From his earliest years as an artist he exhibited his work widely, lectured and wrote. In 1929 he joined the Surrealist movement becoming its most visible and controversial member. That year, Dali met Gala Eluard when she visited him with her husband, poet Paul Eluard. Subsequently, Gala became Dali’s wife, his muse, primary model and life-long obsession.