Salvador Dali's surrealist masterpiece to go under the hammer at Bonhams auction in London
New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANSlife): A surrealist masterpiece by Spanish master Salvador Dali, titled Couple aux tetes pleines de nuages (1937), will go under the hammer in London on March 26.
The work, which has never before been offered at auction, comes from the collection of the Italian Modernist composer Giacinto Scelsi.
It is estimated to sell for a whopping Euro 7,000,000-10,000,000 (approximately INR 65-92 crores) at a Bonhams auction.
Dali created the piece during the Spanish Civil War and at the height of his surrealist period (1929-1939).
The work depicts Dali and his wife Gala formed only by the outlines of the frames. Despite being a diptych, the panels feature a desert landscape that appears to merge into a single larger painting.
Classic surrealist motifs- scattered rocks, a disfigured tree, indistinct human figures, a girl skipping, a giraffe on fire, and clouds that cut across the heads of the panels - populate the scene.
All of these images relate to certain Freudian undercurrents often seen in Dali's key surrealist works.
"Dali's Couple aux tetes pleines de nuages (1937) is a masterpiece from the height of his key surrealist period. It is full of the highly personal imagery that made Dali perhaps the most exciting member of the Surrealist group during these years of experimentation, revealing his obsession with Freudian psychology as much as his obsession with his great lover and muse Gala."
"While the now-famous image of the girl skipping was employed by Dali to symbolise childhood memories, the burning giraffe represents "the masculine cosmic apocalyptic monster" - a timely premonition of war.
Dali painted these monumental panels at a time of intense personal discovery and expression, while the world around him erupted into conflict.
Simply put, it is one of the most exciting works by Dali ever to come to the market," India Phillips, Global Head of Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art department, said.
Dali joined the Surrealist movement in Paris in 1929, the same year he met Gala, who at that time was married to Dali's friend, Surrealist poet and founder of the movement Paul Eluard.
Dali and Gala's 50-year relationship was controversial. Gala was ten years his senior, and many saw her as the force behind the increased commercialisation of Dali's work after his rejection of Surrealism in 1939.
Such was Dali's adoration for his partner and muse that he signed many of his most significant works, including Couple aux tetes pleines de nuages (1937), Gala Salvador Dali.
The work was part of the collection of the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988), where it remained for more than half a century. Prior to it becoming part of Scelsi's collection, it is possible Dali gave the work to Paul Eluard.