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© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2017

© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2017

Cat. no. 1190

Portrait of Jonathan and Ann Green

  • 1963
  • Oil on canvas
  • 66.3 x 95.4 cm
  • Private collection
  • Signed and dated lower right corner: Salvador Dali / 1963

Mr. Montgomery M. Green & Mrs. Ann W. Green, Havre de Grace, Maryland

The Estate of Ann W. Green, Havre de Grace, Maryland

Auctioned in Sotheby's, New York, November 6th, 2015

This work is a portrait of Jonathan and Ann Green commissioned by Montgomery M. Green, a farmer and patron of the arts. In the letters he sent to the artist, he clearly exposes how painting should be: "This portrait might contain an allegorical message contrasting what is good and worthwhile in our American and Western bourgeois Christian world against the evil forces that now confront the whole Christendom. There are, of course, numerous ways that this challenge can be symbolized. For instance, I should think that the lighting of the picture might show beams of sunshine on the Western Christian side with dark thunder clouds overhanging the Eastern atheistic side. […] My suggestion that having Jonathan, the boy, depicted holding a space helmet under his arm occurred to me because he was born at the very dawn of the space age and is facing life in that age. You expressed disapproval of this concept, but I was not entirely clear as to what your objection was. Certainly I am not insisting on this anymore than on any of the suggestions that I have made, but I am setting the matter down here in order to explain to you what prompted the thought." (Letter from Montgomery M. Green to Salvador Dalí, April 20, 1962).

Provenance

Mr. Montgomery M. Green & Mrs. Ann W. Green, Havre de Grace, Maryland

The Estate of Ann W. Green, Havre de Grace, Maryland

Auctioned in Sotheby's, New York, November 6th, 2015

Remarks

This work is a portrait of Jonathan and Ann Green commissioned by Montgomery M. Green, a farmer and patron of the arts. In the letters he sent to the artist, he clearly exposes how painting should be: "This portrait might contain an allegorical message contrasting what is good and worthwhile in our American and Western bourgeois Christian world against the evil forces that now confront the whole Christendom. There are, of course, numerous ways that this challenge can be symbolized. For instance, I should think that the lighting of the picture might show beams of sunshine on the Western Christian side with dark thunder clouds overhanging the Eastern atheistic side. […] My suggestion that having Jonathan, the boy, depicted holding a space helmet under his arm occurred to me because he was born at the very dawn of the space age and is facing life in that age. You expressed disapproval of this concept, but I was not entirely clear as to what your objection was. Certainly I am not insisting on this anymore than on any of the suggestions that I have made, but I am setting the matter down here in order to explain to you what prompted the thought." (Letter from Montgomery M. Green to Salvador Dalí, April 20, 1962).