"The Dwellers of Prato, Inferno 26," from Dante's The Divine Comedy, 1960. Woodblock engraving on BFK Rives Paper. 23.5 x 18 in. framed. Includes certificate of authentication.
Salvador Dalí, Spanish, 1904–1989
Salvador Dalí was an icon of Surrealism, the 20th-century avant-garde movement that sought to release unconscious creative potential through art that featured dreamlike imagery.
The Divine Comedy
In the early 1950s, in celebration of the 700th birthday of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the Italian government commissioned the Surrealist master Salvador Dalí to create 100 illustrations for a commemorative edition of The Divine Comedy. Dalí’s hyperrealistic, bizarre, and nightmarish imagery seemed like the perfect pairing to Dante’s visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, yet public outcry against the commissioning of a Spanish artist to accompany the work of an Italian cultural hero forced the Italian government to revoke its support for the project. Undaunted, Dalí worked with a French publisher to have 100 wood engravings (one for each of _The Divine Comedy_’s verses) made after his own watercolors, which were completed and published in 1963.