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Beautiful Salvador Dali Divine Comedy Woodblock Engravings

HISTORY of the Publication

In the mid 1950s, the Italian Minister of Culture commissioned Salvador Dalí to illustrate Dante's Divine Comedy, to be published in honor of the 700th anniversary of Dante's birth in Florence in 1265.

The Divine Comedy is divided into 3 canticas―Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise. Each cantica consists of 33 cantos (chants). The initial canto is considered as an introduction to the poem, which brings the total number of cantos (chants) to 100. Between 1951 and 1960, Salvador Dali created 101 watercolors for the special commemorative edition.

Dalí's newly illustrated version of the European classic would be released in a year of celebratory fairs, symposia and readings during the great author's septicentennial. A bibliophile's dream, the Dalí illustrated Divine Comedy, was published in six, slip-cased volumes―two each for Hell, Purgatory and Heaven―with a total of 100 Dalí wood engravings corresponding to the 100 stanzas or cantos/chants in the epic poem.

Dalí's images were deftly slipped into folded sheets on which the poetry in Italian, French or German was beautifully typeset, so that one could view Dalí's visions alongside Dante's vivid verse. This edition of Salvador Dali's Divine Comedy were published by Les Heures Claires on Rives paper, and are referenced in "The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali", written by Official Dali Archivist Albert Field.

Original Woodblock Engravings

These are very fine original woodblock engravings.

Each image was created using a printing block cut from slices of wood cut across the grain. The waste wood is cut away and discarded leaving the image which is to be printed standing in relief. The publication of this edition was executed between April 1959 and November 1963 in Paris.

Inferno 4 "News of the Lower Depths of Hell"
Salvador Dali The Divine Comedy Inferno (Hell)
(27cm x 33cm)

"The Flatterer," Illustration to Dante's "Divine Comedy"
(27cm x 33cm)


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