The Immaculate Conception and The Visible Woman


The Immaculate Conception and The Visible Woman

by Peter Lucas


In 1925 Dali returned left the Escuela de Belas Artes in Madrid for a year.  During this time in Figueres, his hometown, he again studied wit his childhood drawing instructor; Professor Joan Nunez of the Municipal School of Drawing. While back with this old teacher he developed a passion for engraving. His father even let him set up a printing press in the family home.

Dali later claimed that during this time back home he became familiar with all the print making techniques and even developed a few of his own. Between 1924 and 1926 he did ten or more paintings and drawings of his sister Ana Maria. In these he was influence by the great portraitists Ingres and Picasso. Sometime in this period he did an etching of a girl’s head in an objective style that was new for him. This may have been his first master etching. Regrettably it has disappeared but in all likelihood first Dali print ever was a portrait of his sister.

In 1930 Dali illustrated THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION with texts by the leaders of the Surrealist Movement Andre Breton and Paul Eluard, one of the greatest modern French poets. Dali print authorities disagree as to whether he reworked with his own hand the plate for a heliograph in this volume. But there is little doubt that this work both exciting and creative as well is Dalinean. Moreover now that it is 82 years old, it is quite rare and therefore very much a great prize for anyone with a passion for Dali graphics. For no one can deny that the image itself arises purely from the creative consciousness as well as subconscious of none other than genius Salvador Dali. Further adding to the work’s value is that only 111 books for which it is the frontispiece were printed.

The same can be said about THE VISIBLE WOMAN illustration of the same year. This work has a number of figures integrated into it. Dali’s being able to create harmony among these several writhing partially and fully human bodies give this work tremendous energy as well as great beauty. We can only marvel at this artist’s imagination when viewing such a work, for which he executed a pen-and-ink drawing. Only 205 copies of the book in which this heliograph appears were printed.


© 2009 The Salvador Dalí Society®. All rights reserved
© Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation All Rights to Dalí’s Image, likeness, and works of art.
For more information and pricing contact: Joseph Nuzzolo, 888-888-DALI (3254)


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