This Salvador Dali illustration "Arachne" was inspired by Chapter 17 "Fegefeuer (Purgatory)
From the German edition #235 of “Göttlche Komödie” (Divine Comedy)
THIS LITHOGRAPH IS PART OF ONE EDITION #235 THAT IS BEING SOLD SEPARATELY.
The original #235 shipping box is one of 7 sets sent in 1974 direct from Jean Estrade of “Les Heures Claires” in Paris to Landstuhl via Dr. Jawdat Naffouj, ( Producer of the German Edition) for collector Coop Cooprider in Germany where he lived at the time. According to reknown expert Mr. Albert Field, the German dealer Dr. Jawdat Naffouj, Landstuhl, received set #235 direct from the publisher of the first "Divine Comedy" edition, Jean Estrade, and issued the series, in 1974. The German edition of the Dali “Divine Comedy” ("Göttliche Komödie") is different from any other version in that the woodblock prints are mounted to an Arches backing paper and covered with another piece of Arches paper with a cutout for the woodblock image.
This treasure was kept in storage for 45 years! It was opened February 14, 2019 by owner Cooprider for “white-glove” content inventory of each matted woodcut illustration totaling 100. All were confirmed pristine and in correct order representing German text of each 100 chapters of Dante’s literary masterpiece. Each are signed in-the-block.
This pristine suite of 100 matted and hand-carved woodcut Dali illustrations are from the exclusive 1974 German Edition of Dali’s “Göttliche Komödie” (“Divine Comedy”). It is set Number 235/1000, confirmed by its internal 235 cover page ("tirage" -"Auflage"). The window-matted Dali images are not bound, issued loose in their original red, purple, and blue slipcases. NOTE: February 14, 2019 to assist in keeping correct order each mat was lightly pencil marked at left bottom of mat with number of corresponding chapter. Example: “H 34” for last chapter of “Hölle”. This is to keep order matching each of 100 images with text.
Each set has 3 volumes (suites) with complete text and 100 color woodcuts (each individually matted) 1959-1963 (published 1974) 13x10x3/8 inches (sheets) Full margins.
1. Red: “Hölle” - (“Hell”) 34 chapters
2. Purple: “Fegefeuer” - (“Purgatory”) 33 chapters
3. Blue: “Paradies” - (“Paradise”) 33 chapters
The Salvador Dali "Divine Comedy" is a poem by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), illustrating the journey from Inferno to Purgatory to Paradise. Between 1951 and 1960, Dali was invited by the Italian government to commemorate the birth of Dante Alighieri, Italy’s most famous poet, by producing a series of illustrations for a full-text Deluxe edition of Dante’s masterpiece, the "Divine Comedy". Not deemed appropriate for Salvador Dali, a Spanish painter, to illustrate the work of Italy’s greatest poet, the illustrations were not well received by the Italians. And the project was dropped in Italy, however Dali and French publisher Joseph Foret continued to pursue the publication of the "Divine Comedy" by giving the project to "Les Heures Claires", French editing and publishing company. Finally, after 55 months of hard work the edition was completed in November 1963.
Salvador Dali, in the course of the "Divine Comedy" project, created 100 watercolor drawings interpreting the book. These drawings are then reproduced using a wood engraving technique. With this technique, wood engravers carved 3500 woodblocks for the prints that make up the book. This results in 100 woodblocks in the French edition. Two different editors published the French edition. Therefore there are 4765 books in French and 3188 in Italian. Later, in 1974, the German edition “Göttliche Komödie” with a stated size of 1000 was also to be published. Dr. Jawdat Naffouj helped produce nearly 400.
Each set contains incredible imagery ranging from the grotesque to the sublime, as our artist follows Dante from the deepest circles of Inferno, up the mountain of Purgatory, and into heavenly Paradise. These works have been created by the technique of wood engraving: a total of 3,500 blocks of woods were carved, approximately 35 separate blocks per image. Dali himself thought this project to be one of the most important of his career and it is considered by many today to be his most incredible and notable work.
In each volume there is a title page, a table of contents, and justification page. These are contained in a cardboard slip case with matching inner boards. Each woodblock from the Dali "Divine Comedy" is part of a Canto or book chapter. A Canto is about 8 pages long. The size of each sheet is about 13″ x 10 1/3″ with image size of 7 1/4″ x 9 1/2″.
The German edition of the Dali “Divine Comedy” (Göttliche Komödie) is different from any other version in that the woodblock prints are mounted to a Arches backing paper and covered with another piece of Arches paper with a cutout for the woodblock image.