Figueres, 18 December 2006
Description of the work
This is a study dating from 1923, a brush-on-paper drawing measuring 16.6 x 6.5 cm. It belongs to the period when Dalí was studying at the Special Painting, Sculpture and Engraving School of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and was staying at the Students’ Residence. It is a volumetric drawing that presents all the academic formulae, which Dalí had so thoroughly assimilated in Figueres from his drawing teacher Juan Núñez Fernández. It clearly shows the principles of light and shade in the graphic portrayal of figure, in this female nude depicted from behind, in one of the classic poses worked upon at drawing academies. Mr Pitxot pointed out the notes that Dalí himself made on the paper to describe the work. The following text figures by way of description: “Brush-tip drawing –Academia 1923. Madrid. S. Dalí”. And it bears the dedication: “To my friend Puig Pujades with all affection. S. Dalí -1928”. The dedication came after (1928) the date of execution of the drawing itself (1923).
Mr Samaranch stressed the reasons why he had donated this work: firstly, in recognition of the task carried out by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, one of Spain’s most important and frequently visited cultural institutions. Secondly, he wished in this way to reward Mr Boixadós personally for his participation in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. We might remember that he had been the Managing Director of Villa Olímpica, S.A. For his part, Mr Boixadós recognised the essential role of Mr Samaranch, without whom the 1992 Olympic Games would not have been held in Barcelona, and he expressed his thanks for this gesture and for the personal recognition that Mr Samaranch had accorded him. The latter then went on to describe the relationship he had had with Salvador Dalí. The first occasion was to commission him to design the menu for his wedding to Maria Teresa Salisachs. In return, Dalí had asked him for two swans from Lake Geneva or else a payment in dollars that Mr Samaranch did not specify. The second meeting between the two men was on the occasion of the Mexico Olympic Games. The then President of the IOC travelled to Portlligat to see a work that they had commissioned of Salvador Dalí, for exhibition in Mexico in 1968 in representation of Spanish art. That was a large oil painting entitled Cosmic Athlete, which is now housed in the office of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Finally, he explained that he had been the owner of the drawing he was donating for some 50 years, and that he had not purchased it directly from the artist himself but through a painter friend.