The Envelope

© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VEGAP, Figueres, 2019 Brassaï © Estate Brassaï-RMN-Grand Palais

Cat. no. OE 9


The Envelope

Unique Original Work


Salvador Dalí i Domènech - Gyula Halász, alias Brassaï
ca. 1933
Photograph and found object or object of automatic origin
Gelatin silver print
23,4 x 17,7 cm
The dimensions correspond to the original print run of the photograph
On the back: L'enveloppe
Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne - Centre de création industrielle, Paris

Between 1932-1933, Dalí took on the artistic direction of a series of photographs made with Gyula Halász, alias Brassaï (1899-1984), in which certain objects, probably of automatic origin, acquire a new conceptual and artistic dimension, grounded in the essence of the photographic image. Several of these photographs were published anonymously in 1933 in the magazine Minotaure, under the heading ‘Sculptures involontaires’, each with a descriptive title drawing attention to details of the work. A number of these photographs that were not made public at the time constitute further examples of this type of creation, such as this photograph, conserved in the Centre de création industrielle at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. A letter from Dalí to Brassaï, in or around 1933, includes a preliminary design for this work together with a mention of the word ‘envelope’ [sic].


The dimensions and the inscriptions correspond to the original print run of this photograph, which is conserved at the Centre de création industrielle in Paris.


  1. Didier Ottinger, Dictionnaire de l'objet surréaliste, Gallimard, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2013, pp. [245], 246, [307], ill. (reversed image)
  2. Anna Dezeuze, Julia Kelly, Found sculpture and photography from surrealism to contemporary art, Ashgate, Farnham, UK, Burlington, VT, 2013, pp. 5-9, [13]-18, 30, 99-102

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