Fine Art/Dali etching


I have a Dali etching with his signature in pencil and on the left it has the letters E.A.
The certificate of authenticity says The Universal Lady is an original etching, P.S.  E.A. by Dali.
What does E.A. mean? I have looked everywhere on the web and can't find that. I received it as gift in 1985 and just found it in storage. The lady has sparks flying out of her nipples so I never put it up on a wall.

Dear Clair,

Thank you for your question.  EA is the abbreviation for Épreuve d'artiste, the French term for 'artist proof'. An artist may opt to receive/keep 10-15% out of an edition for his own use; these graphics are numbered separately (or not at all) and sometimes marked 'EA'.

Although I am neither an authenticator nor an appraiser myself, based on my reading, I regret that I have to raise a question about your etching's authenticity.  According to Albert Field's 'Complete Graphic Works of Salvador Dali', Dali executed a series of etchings in 1971 called 'Song of Songs of Solomon', of which the image you describe ('sparks flying out of her nipples') is number vi.  Field does not mention any E.A. works for this series.  He does, however, describe a number of forgeries that have proliferated based on the series.  According to Field, one Leon Amiel gave American retailers signed letters 'authenticating' the forged works based on 'Song of Songs'; Amiel gave new names to the images, and number vi, formerly called 'Thou art all fair', became 'Universal woman'.  Some of these, Field notes, are marked EA, leading me to fear that your etching may be a forgery.  As you may know, forgeries in Dali's graphics abound -- particularly from the 1980s --, so it is not a unique case.  If you are interested in selling your work, I would recommend contacting a certified appraiser who specialises in Dali's graphics who should be able to confirm or deny authenticity.  Some possibilities include the Salvador Dali Archives in New York, the Dali Society in LA, and Bernard Ewell in Santa Fe, NM.

I'm sorry to raise the spectre of doubt, though I hope this information is helpful.  Good luck!

All best,

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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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