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Fine Art/Fake or authentic


Dear Mr King,
I wonder if you could help.
I was given a gift of one of Dalis 12 apostle paintings- John,  from my best friend in Paris.  The certification came from Jacques Carpentier and is described as a lithograph. Is this a fake Dali ? The date of 1972 appears on the certification.The signature is in the bottom right hand corner in pencil.

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your question.  First, let me say that I am not an authenticator nor am I an appraiser, so I am not qualified to answer whether a work is fake.  I can, however, offer you some information for you to better judge your lithograph's authenticity yourself; otherwise, I recommend contacting an authenticator such as the Salvador Dali Archives in New York.

Without an image, I will assume that the lithograph to which you refer is indeed John from the suite 'The Twelve Apostles'.  Each print should have a colored background with gold dots and a gold border.  Legitimate graphics should measure 19 3/8" x 18 1/8" (including border) on 25 1/2" x 18 8/8" paper.  The edition was published by Simon Wajntrob, Peter Moore, Ariane Lancel, and Jacques Carpentier in an edition of 430: #1-350 on Arches paper, EA (epreuve d'artiste) 1-50, and 30 HC (hors de commerce).  According to Albert Field's catalogue, The Complete Graphic Works of Salvador Dali, the portfolio was issued about 1978 and re-titled 'Knights of the Round Table'.  I am unclear whether there was an edition previously published in 1972, though it does seem that Dali created the paintings in 1972 from which the graphics were made.  This may explain the 1972 date on your certificate of authenticity, though it is a curiosity if the portfolio was not issued until 1978.  Unfortunately, certificates of authenticity are also frequently forged, so it is very difficult for me to say anything more conclusive.

I hope that some of this information is helpful.  Do check the size and the numbering, as this should be an easy way to tell if your work is fake.  If the measurements and numbering match what should be expected, then you will probably have to have the piece examined by a professional.

Good luck!
Kind regards,

Fine Art

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Elliott H. King


As a professional art historian, I can answer questions related to the art and life of Salvador Dalí. I am neither an art broker nor an appraiser, so I cannot answer questions regarding a work's value or authenticity; however, I can refer you to individuals who work in the Dali market.


I am an art historian specializing in Salvador Dalí. For over ten years, I have been a pioneer in the critical study of ‘Late Dalí’ (i.e., the artist's work after 1940). I have presented extensively on aspects of Dalí’s production at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Tate Modern, L’Université de Lausanne, Cerisy la Salle, the University of London, and Harvard University, and I have been a guest lecturer at Cambridge University and the University of Chicago. I have published several essays about Dalí in addition to my book, 'Dalí, Surrealism, and Cinema' (Kamera Books, 2007). I have also contributed to major international exhibitions of Dalí's work, including the Dalí Centenary Exhibition (2004-05) and 'Dalí & Film' (2007-08).

BOOKS "Dalí: The Late Work", High Museum of Art, Atlanta in association with Yale UP, 2010. "Dalí, Surrealism and Cinema", Kamera Books, Herts (UK), 2007. ESSAYS, ARTICLES AND CHAPTERS • “Little Black Dress, Little Red Book: Dalí, Mao, and Monarchy (with Special Attention to Trajan’s Glorious Testicles)”, in Michael R. Taylor (ed.), The Dalí Renaissance: New Perspectives on His Life and Art after 1940, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 2008, pp. 90111. • “The Prodigious Story of the Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros”, in ibid, pp. 190204. • “Crazy Movies That Disappear”, in Matthew Gale (ed.), Dalí and Film, Tate Publishing, London / Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, pp. 214229. Published also in Spanish as "Dalí y el cine", Electa, Madrid, 2008. • “Le temps dalínien fait mouche: Réflexions sur les « montres molles »”, in Astrid Ruffa, Philippe Kaenel, Danielle Chaperon (eds.), "Salvador Dalí à la croisée des savoirs", Éditions Desjonquères, Paris, 2007, pp. 3752. • “Winged Fantasy with Lead Feet: The Influence of Llullism and Hiparxiologi on Dalí’s Mysticism”, in Hank Hine, William Jeffett and Kelly Reynolds (eds.), "Persistence & Memory: New Critical Perspectives on Dalí at the Centennial", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004, pp. 189193. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: ENTRIES • Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", Bompiani Arte, Milan, 2004. EXHIBITION CATALOGUES: BIBLIOGRAPHIES, FILMOGRAPHIES AND CHRONOLOGIES • “Dalí Filmography”, published in Matthew Gale (ed.), "Dalí and Film", op.cit., pp. 230231. • “A Cinematic Chronology of Dalí, 19411989”, in ibid, pp. 160163. • Compiled the most complete bibliography of Dalí resources todate, published in Dawn Ades and Michael R. Taylor (eds.), "Dalí", op.cit., pp. 568598.

Ph.D, Art History and Theory (2010) University of Essex, Colchester, England M.A. with Distinction in Dissertation, History of Art (2001) Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England B.A. summa cum laude, Art History (hons., Phi Beta Kappa) University of Denver, Denver, Colorado

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