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Posts Tagged ‘Salvador Dalí’

12 AUGUST, 2013

Salvador Dalí Illustrates Montaigne: Sublime Surrealism from a Rare 1947 Limited Edition, Signed by Dalí

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Two of history’s most formidable talents, at the intersection of literature at art.

In 1946, more than twenty years before his little-known and lovely illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, iconic surrealist artist Salvador Dalí was commissioned by the creatively ambitious Doubleday publishing house (who also released a number of books with stunning cover art by Edward Gorey and enlisted young Andy Warhol as a freelance artist) to illustrate The Essays of Michel De Montaigne (public library) in a special limited edition of 1,000 copies. Dalí, forty-two at the time and already an avid admirer of Montaigne’s mind, leapt at the opportunity. What resulted, published in 1947, was nothing short of a masterpiece — an intersection of literature and art, of two formidable talents, unlike almost anything else except perhaps Ulysses illustrated by Matisse and Sendak’s illustrations of Tolstoy.

I was fortunate enough to track down one of the last surviving signed copies, #101 no less, but unsigned ones — which are also respectably rare — can still be found online for gobsmackingly little — as little, in fact, as $6.99 at the time of this writing.

For our shared delight, here are Dalí’s color folios and black-and-white etchings — sensual, otherworldly, appropriately surrealist, just the right amount of bizarre — from my copy of the book, captioned after the original Montaigne essay they illustrate. (The essays themselves — timeless wisdom on life, morality, and the human condition — are in the public domain, thus available as a free download, and are very much worth a read.)

Portrait of Michel de Montaigne by Salvador Dalí

'The Force of Imagination'

'Of Physiognomy'

'Upon Some Verses of Virgil'

'Upon Some Verses of Virgil'

'Upon Some Verses of Virgil'

'That To Study Philosophy Is To Learn To Die'

'That To Study Philosophy Is To Learn To Die'

'That To Study Philosophy Is To Learn To Die'

'That To Study Philosophy Is To Learn To Die'

'That We Taste Nothing Pure'

'That We Taste Nothing Pure'

'Resemblance of Children to Fathers'

'Resemblance of Children to Fathers'

'Of Repentance'

'Of Coaches'

'Of Vanity'

'Of Vanity'

'Of Experience'

'Of Custom, and That We Should Not Easily Change a Law Received'

'Of the Education of Children'

'That Fortune Is Oftentimes Observed to Act by the Rules of Reason'

'That Fortune Is Oftentimes Observed to Act by the Rules of Reason'

'Of Cannibals'

'Of Democritus and Heraclitus'

'Of Age'

'Of Age'

'Of Drunkenness'

'Of Presumption'

'Of Presumption'

'Of Presumption'

'Of Presumption'

'Of Glory'

'Of Thumbs'

Try your luck at grabbing a surviving copy, and be sure to revisit Dalí’s drawings for Alice in Wonderland.

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07 JUNE, 2013

The Lives of 10 Famous Painters, Visualized as Minimalist Infographic Biographies

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Pollock, Dalí, Matisse, Klimt, Picasso, Mondrian, Klee, Boccioni, Kandinsky, and Miro, visually distilled.

For their latest masterpiece, my friend Giorgia Lupi and her team at Accurat — who have previously given us such gems as a timeline of the future based on famous fiction, a visualization of global brain drain, and visual histories of the Nobel Prize and the 100 geniuses of language — have teamed up with illustrator Michela Buttignol to visualize the lives of ten famous painters, using the visual metaphors of painting and the specific stylistic preferences — shapes, colors, proportions — of each artist.

The artists include Jackson Pollock (whose meditation on art and life is a must-read and who had a pretty amazing dad), Salvador Dalí (whose little-known Alice in Wonderland illustrations never cease to delight), Gustav Klimt (who was a key figure in sparking the cross-pollination of art and science that shaped modern culture), Henri Matisse (who, unbeknownst to many, once illustrated Joyce’s Ulysses) and Piet Mondrian (who has even inspired artisanal cake), and each painter is represented by a cleverly designed pictogram reflective of his signature style:

Each visual biography depicts key biographical moments — births, deaths, love affairs, marriages, birth of children, travel — as well as notable and curious features like handedness (mostly righties, with the exception of Klee), astrological sign, and connections.

For a closer look, click each image to view the full-size version:

The visualizations are available as art prints on Society6.

You can see more of Giorgia’s wonderful work on her site and follow her on Twitter.

For an even more minimalist distillation of famous lives, see the delightful, if much less scholarly, Life In Five Seconds.

Donating = Loving

Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find any joy and stimulation here, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner:





You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount:





Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.

13 SEPTEMBER, 2012

My Struggle: Salvador Dalí’s Credo, Illustrated by Molly Crabapple

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“Against simplicity/ for complexity . . . against the collective/ for the individual.”

After Susan Sontag on love illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton and Anaïs Nin on life illustrated by Lisa Congdon, the initially inadvertent but now steadfast Brain Pickings artist series of literary illustrations continues with Molly Crabapple and her stunning visual adaptation of Salvador Dalí’s “My Struggle” from Ramon Gomez de la Serna’s Dalí, created exclusively for Brain Pickings — a rare synthesis of the legendary surrealist’s creative vision and personal credo, and a fine addition to these favorite manifestos for the creative life.

Molly’s new book, Devil in the Details, a darkly whimsical illustrated meditation on the absurdities of modern life from politics to literature, came out last month, on the heels of last year’s Kickstarter blockbuster Week in Hell.

You can follow Molly on Twitter and see more of her fantastic work on her site.

Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter and people say it’s cool. It comes out on Sundays and offers the week’s best articles. Here’s what to expect. Like? Sign up.