Discover the 5 most expensive Salvador Dali paintings... With the birthday of Surrealist painter Salvador Dali this week, Wikicollectors have put together a list of his top 5 most expensive paintings...
This 1929 portrait depicts Paul Eluard, a French Surrealist poet whom Dali met in 1929, around the time when he was staying in Paris assisting Luis Buñuel with the filming of 'Un Chien Andalou'. During that summer, Dali invited many Surrealists that he met to visit him in Cadaqués. His guests included Eluard, with his wife, Gala and daughter, Luis Buñuel and René Magritte and his wife.
During Eluard’s visits, Dali fell in love with Gala who would later become his life-long companion and muse. At the end of her stay, Dali returned to his studio and completed 'Portrait de Paul Eluard' which the writer had been sitting for.
The painting was sold at a Sotheby’s sale in London in February 2011. Not only is it the most expensive Dali work, it is also the most expensive Surrealist painting ever sold at auction.
2) Etude pour 'Le miel est plus doux que le sang' - £4,073,250
'Etude pour 'Le miel est plus doux que le sang'' (or 'Study for Honey is Sweeter than blood') is one Dali’s first Surrealist paintings. It is a fully completed study for the now lost painting 'Honey is Sweeter than Blood' which is believed to have been destroyed.
The painting show a beach scene, reminiscent of other Dali works, strewn with rotting donkeys, sleeping heads, decapitated corpses, needles, and levitating breasts.
It was painted when Dali was 23 years-old and had newly discovered the creative potential in Surrealism. Alongside 'Apparatus and Hand', Dali chose 'Honey is Sweeter than Blood' to represent his new artistic direction at the 1927 Autumn Salon in Barcelona where their disturbing imagery was considered outrageous by many.
In February 2011, the piece sold for £4,073,250 at a Christie’s sale in London.
3) 'Spectre du soir sur la plage' - $5,682,500
'Night Spectre on the Beach', as it is known in English, was painted in 1935 and depicts far away figures on a desolate beach. It is believed that the beach shown is at Rosas on the Costa Brava, a place where Dali spent many summers as a child. The beach has featured as a setting in other Dali paintings, including 'Soft Construction with Boiled Beans', which was painted one year after Spectrum of the Night on the Beach.
The painting was sold for $5,682,500 at a Sotheby’s, New York auction in May 2010.
4) 'Ma femme nue regardant son propre corps devenir marches, trois vertebres d'une colonne, ciel et architecture' - £2,863,500
'My Wife, Naked Looking at her own Body,which is Transformed into Steps, Three Vertebrae of a Column, Sky and Architecture' is a 1945 painting depicting Dali’s wife, Gala, sitting naked with her back to the viewer. To the left of Gala is a classical head affixed to a wall. Beneath the head is a dandelion, a symbol of Dali’s love for Gala. In the painting, Gala is staring out at an architectural structure in the shape of her body.