Unpublished Dalí diary auctioned for 91,800 euros
Sotheby’s Paris has auctioned an unpublished diary from Catalan painter Salvador Dalí for the price of 91.800 euros. Sold on the 26th of April, the leather-bound, handwritten journal was used by the surrealist artist between 1930 and 1935, and is valued at between 40,000 and 60,000 euros. The notebook not only includes original drawings and sketches, but also literary texts, artistic criticism, and even an account of the artist´s daily spending. "It is an extremely sought-after and very moving item”, noted vice president and head of Sotheby's books and manuscripts Anne Heilbronn. 495 additional items were in the collection that was auctioned alongside the journal, comprising the most complete collection dedicated to Dadaism and Surrealism. This set contains collaborations by Breton, Magritte, Penrose, Ernst, Miró, Man Ray, Dominguez, Éluard and Picasso.
Paris (CNA).- Sotheby’s auction house in Paris sold this Tuesday an unpublished diary of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí for 91,800 euros. The booklet, used by the Catalan artist between 1930 and 1935, contains about thirty original drawings, handwritten notes (among which literary texts and artistic criticism), even including accounts of the legendary painter´s daily expenses. "It is an extremely sought-after and very moving item, and we estimate it to be valued at between 40,000 and 60,000 euros”, vice president and head of Sotheby's books and manuscripts Anne Heilbronn told CAN, adding that “it could be of interest both to book collectors and Dalí art collectors”. The journal will be auctioned alongside 495 additional items in what is considered to be the most complete collection dedicated to Dadaism and Surrealism to date, which includes exchanges and collaborations by André Breton, René Magritte, Roland Penrose, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Óscar Dominguez, Paul Éluard and Pablo Picasso.
Dalí’s notebook was auctioned alongside in a collection containing 495 other items, all coming from the same private R. & B.L. library, in a session that lasted until the 27th of April, dedicated to Dadaism and Surrealism. Sotheby’s estimates that the complete collection to be valued at between 3.5 and 5 million euros.
Dalí’s unpublished journal “is absolutely magnificent”, according to vice president and head of Sotheby's books and manuscripts Anne Heilbronn. In the 42-page, leather-bound book, Dalì uses black, blue and red ink. “His handwriting is very small, extremely difficult to read, and with his own very particular phonetics, he wrote like he spoke, and it´s necessary to re-read [it] several rimes to understand his texts”. An example of this is seen in commentaries on the techniques of “exquisite corpse” or “literary text”. Within the handwritten notes are “sketches and drawings of women with fish on their heads and horses”, studies on “The Knight of Death”, even a self-portrait of the painter, alongside depictions of Gala Dalì (Dalì’s wife and muse) and surrealist writer René Crevel. “They’re rough sketches that would become his paintings of 1930 and 1935”, noted Heilbronn.
Dalì used the very same journal to keep an account of the money he spent. “We can see what he ate and how much he spent, along with his creative talent we have information on his daily life, on his expenses” stated Heilbronn.
Auctioned collection as “a bond of friendship between poets and painters”
The collection that was auctioned explores the “bond of friendship between poets and painters” with manuscripts by Paul Éluard illustrated by Pablo Picasso, for example, and a postcard that the Malaga artist sent to the French poet. Letters, poems, photographs and drawings by André Breton, René Magritte, Roland Penrose, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Man Ray and Óscar Dominguez also comprise this visual network of the art movement of the time. “There are many connections among these writers, painters and photographers who worked together and gave away copies [of their work]”, explained Heilbronn. This is thought of as the most complete surrealist and Dadaist private collection and it took the owner and his son decades to complete it.