Figueres, 12th May, 2014
The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí presented the fourth section of the catalogue raisonné of paintings by Salvador Dalí, covering the period 1952-1964. This new digital publication that includes 758 artworks in total, is a continuation of the project of cataloguing the artist's work that was initiated in 2004.
Access to the catalogue on the Foundation's website is open to all and free of charge, and available in Catalan, Spanish, English and, as of today, French.
The new section of the catalogue raisonné was presented by Montse Aguer, Director of the Centre for Dalinian Studies, and the Centre's coordinators, Carme Ruiz and Anna Otero.
The online posting of the catalogue raisonné reflects its conception as a work in progress, continuously updated and expanded with new data provided by the technical teams of the Fundació Dalí, with the active participation of the Centre for Dalinian Studies alongside the Foundation's Conservation and Restoration departments, Management department and Legal Services. This scientific research project, making the cataloguing and complete study of the paintings of Salvador Dalí available worldwide, is one of the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí's most significant contributions to scholarship.
The primary purpose of the Catalogue Raisonné is to become an essential consultation resource for all those who want to understand the painter's artistic process and evolution in greater depth and to establish the definitive corpus of Dalí's paintings, exhaustively cataloguing all of the oeuvre produced between 1910 and 1983. The aim is to gather and share rigorously accurate information about Salvador Dalí's pictorial work from the whole of his artistic career. As such, it is a process not of aesthetic appraisal but of determining authorship.
The attribution project was launched in 2004 under the direction of the Centre for Dalinian Studies, which to date has presented the results of the research in four sections:
- May 2004: the presentation of the first section was one of the Fundació Dalí's major contributions to the celebrations marking the centenary of Salvador Dalí's birth. The first section covers the years 1910 to 1930 and includes 258 works.
- January 2007: online publication of the second section, spanning the years 1931 to 1939 and including 211 paintings.
- May 2011: publication of the third section, comprising 135 works from the years 1940 to 1951.
- May 2014: as planned, today we present the result of three years of extensive research into the pictures Dalí painted between 1952 and 1964. This new section includes 128 paintings.
- Still to be incorporated, the last section will cover the period from 1965 to 1983, the last year of Dalí's artistic activity.
The collection of data of all kinds helps to identify artworks and place them in their historical context, sometimes resulting in the revision of previously accepted thinking about such aspects as the date of execution. The process involves detailed visual examination of the work, which is contrasted and compared with other sources of information, such as books, exhibition catalogues, photographs, correspondence, manuscripts and contemporary periodicals held in the Centre for Dalinian Studies, auction catalogues and the archives of various institutions, museums, art galleries and private collections, which share with us information about the works by Salvador Dalí that are or have been in their possession.
The data thus obtained information is entered on the catalogue card for each work, which includes the title (or titles), date, medium, support, measurements, signature, inscriptions, current location, historical provenance, observations, exhibition history and bibliography.
A total of 758 works from more than 100 different collections have been studied so far. These can be consulted on the website, by way of three search terms: title, year of execution and collection.
The Fourth Section
Of the total of 758 works in the catalogue raisonné at present, 128 belong to the fourth phase of the project. The study of this last section commenced in 2007. These 128 paintings are held in museums around the world, including: the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí (24 paintings), the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida (14), the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Fukushima (5), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (4) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (3).
As was the case with the third section, covering the years 1940-1951, obtaining the full range of data, both for known works and for the identification of unknown works, was made more difficult by the fact of Dalí's repeated stays in the U.S., and access to certain pieces was hampered by their belonging to a private collection. Between 1952 and 1964, as in the previous period, Dalí continues to paint portraits to commission, and we have identified up some 30 of these, most of which are in private collections. In this fourth section, we also begin to find the very large-scale works that are so characteristic of the later Dalí.
The most noteworthy innovation here, however, is the incorporation of the French translations of all the sections of the catalogue raisonné. We felt that this latest update was the ideal moment to make the entire contents of the catalogue available to Francophone readers. We now offer our detailed survey of the Dalí's pictorial corpus in four languages, considerably increasing the potential readership. The publication of the catalogue raisonné has from its inception sought to engage and interact with the general public. We would like to encourage the owners of paintings by Salvador Dalí (both institutions and private collectors), scholars and the wider public to share their knowledge and appreciation of Dalí's work, and by so doing help us improve, expand and correct the information presented here.