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Fine Art/"APPARITION DE Dite' " PLATE #34


That is what the title is of my purchase, I'm going to type the exact words that are on the back of woodcut and maybe you can tell me more about it. I purchased many years ago the metallic tab shows it was from the Gallerie Vendome,A Division of A.C.M. Corp.,International Art Dealers.
         "APPARITION DE Dite'"
         PLATE  #34
         ( HELL)
         BFK RIVES PAPER  

I would appreciate any information you can give me about this very
dark piece of art. thank you Ed

Dear Ed,

Thank you for your question. Your woodblock is presumably related to Inferno canto 34 from Dali's illustrations of Dante's Divine Comedy.  I say presumably because there has been some confusion about images and you did not include a photo, but the title, 'Apparition de Dite', is normally attributed to canto 34 of Dali's illustrations.

Dali was commissioned to design this set of watercolors (later made into woodblock prints) by the Italian government to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante's birth.  Dali created 101 Divine Comedy watercolors between 1951 and 1960.  The finished suite was published in Paris by Joseph Foret in a special edition.  A larger edition was then published by Jean Estrade at the French publishing house, Les Heures Claires.

'Apparition de Dite' roughly translates to 'Apparition of the Devil'.  'Dite' -- or sometimes 'Dis' -- is the name that Dante most commonly used in his Divine Comedy for the Devil (followed by 'Lucifer' and 'Satan').  In canto 34, Dante and Virgil reach the deepest part of Hell, where they find various figures entombed in ice and the Devil half-frozen in the centre of Hell.  You may notice that your image doesn't really seem to illustrate this. Other watercolors Dali executed actually illustrate this scene more closely, leading to some confusion and scholarly speculation that Dali may have illustrated some cantos more than once and some not at all.  In any event, it is difficult to say with Dali's illustrations that this image refers to a specific passage in Dante's text, though there can be some convincing connections made.  When Dali's watercolors exhibited in 1960 at the Musee Galliera, 'Apparition de Dite' had the subtitle, 'Voici Dite et voici le lieu ou il te faut armer de courage' -- roughly, 'Behold the Devil, and behold the place where you must muster courage'.  

I should add that there is a tremendous proliferation of fake Dali graphics on the market.  The Divine Comedy prints are especially sticky because about 8,534 editions were published between French, German, and Italian editions, and most were subsequently taken apart so the images could be sold separately.  In short, it is difficult to know what you have, particularly as I am neither an authenticator nor an appraiser.  If you are interested in questions of value, you would be well-advised to seek the services of a professional appraiser such as the Salvador Dali Archives in New York:
Another great resource is Bernard Ewell in Santa Fe, NM: ,
or the Salvador Dali Society:

I hope this helps and perhaps leads you on the track to further information.

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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