Dalí · Tales from the 1001 Nights
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A striking selection of 50 unpublished watercolors by Salvador Dalí.
Aside from being one of the world’s most renowned contemporary painters, Salvador Dalí also possessed a deep interest in books and literature. He was, in fact, a prolific book illustrator who, throughout his lifetime, illustrated over one hundred books including immortal titles such as Don Quixote, various works by Shakespeare, The Divine Comedy, and The Odyssey, to name a few.
In the 1960s, a wealthy Italian couple by the name of Giuseppe and Mara Albaretto became fervent enthusiasts and collectors of Dalí’s work. They arranged for him to illustrate a series of books for Turin-based publisher Rizzoli. After illustrating the Bible in 1963, Dalí pushed to move in a less Catholic direction and insisted that the book he wanted to illustrate next was The One Thousand and One Nights.
Dalí was fascinated with the Arab world and even claimed to be of Moorish descent. And it his imaginative power and his ability to not only transport readers to an exotic otherworld but to take them on an exhilarating sensorial and psychological journey that makes his one of the greatest interpretations of this collection of stories.
Executed in a blaze of vivid colors, Dalí’s watercolors shift between the familiar and disorientating, including deliberate anachronism and signature Dalí motifs, creating an almost hallucinatory effect.
For reasons which remain unclear, the project was abandoned, with Dalí having completed only 100 of the 500 illustrations he had been contracted to produce, all of them dated 1966. Of these, half were retained by Rizzoli and either lost or irreparably damaged. The other half went to the Albarettos and were inherited by their daughter Christiana.
Originally edited in the Catalan language by Sinera, and published in English by the Folio Society, this work includes a collection of illustrations in an elegant, large-format volume which does full justice to Dalí’s sumptuous watercolors. Each illustration has a translucent overlay marked with the number of the corresponding night. The stories have been printed separately in a smaller format, making it more convenient for reading. The two volumes are presented together in a handsome Solander box designed by calligrapher Ged Palmer.
- 112 pages with 50 full-page color prints
- Printed on Modigliani paper
- Prints protected with translucent overlays
- Typeset in Abril
- Quarter-bound in calfskin with sides covered in Tsarina Crush
- Blocked in gold
- Gilded top edge
- 18” x 13½”
- 512 pages typeset in Fournier on Abbey Wove paper
- Bound in cloth inset with title label
- Ribbon marker
- 9¼” x 6”
Solander Presentation Box
- Bound in cloth and blocked with a design by Ged Palmer in gold and cream foil