Salvador Dali, 1904-1989
Argus. Mythologie. 1963-65.
Original etching with drypoint and heliogravure in black. 1963-65. Signed in pencil. Dated ’63 in pencil. Numbered 7 from the edition of 150 impressions on Arches paper. (There were also XX proof impressions. Etched for the series ‘Mythologie - Mythology’, 1963-65. Etched and printed at the Atelier Robbe, Paris. Published by Pierre Argillet, Paris 1965.
Dali’s series of compositions for the ‘Mythology’ series are generally considered to be his most significant print works of the 1960’s period. 'Argus' is one of the most important in the series.
Provenance: Collection Baron Henri Petiet, Paris. Purchased from the publisher in 1965.
Ref: Michler-Lopsinger - Dali Etchings no 116
Rich impression with strong colour on cream wove Arches paper. Excellent totally fresh condition; never previously mounted or framed (stored by the previous owner in portfolio). Sheet: 560 x 754 mm. Plate: 395 x 494mm.
Dali made his first works in the medium of etching in the 1920’s to mid 1930’s. In the early 1960’s during visits to Paris he came into contact with some of the great etching studios, such as that of Georges Visat, and the Rigal and Robbe ateliers. In these studios he was re-inspired to use the medium and learned how new dimensions could be introduced into his etchings. It was the stimulus for an ongoing extended body of work which was to continue until the mid 1970’s - one of the most extensive graphic oeuvres of the mid 20th century.
The most significant series of prints which Dali drew in the early part of this 1960's etched oeuvre is the ‘Mythologie – Mythology’. These images take the themes of Greek mythology, especially as classified by Plato, and re-interpret them in terms of Dali’s personal and emotional inspiration and his development through pre-war Surrealism.
Argus – or Argus Panoptes, the all-seeing – was a primordial giant and the son of Arestor. He was charged with being the guardian of the sacred white heifer Lo, in particular to protect him from Zeus. He was described as being ‘ever watchful’; having a hundred eyes some of which were always open. Thus Dali transformed him into a peacock with the eyes in his feathers. It is a marvellously playful image with all his typical wit.
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