You are here:

Fine Art/Dali litho for La divina Comedia


Dear Sir,

I'm Guido van der Vorst from The Netherlands.
I'm trying to find information about the Dali prints for La divina Comedia.
I hope to buy one. It's Dante in Doubt (Paradise) its numbered  52/100.
Can you tell me if this serie is 'rare' and on what paper it is pressed?
Maybe then I can make up if the price is right.

Thank you very much for the help.
Best Regards,

Guido van der Vorst

Dear Mr. van der Vorst,

Thank you for your question.  A little bit about Dali's Divine Comedy series: Dali was commissioned to design a 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 Les Heures Claires.

The Divine Comedy prints are especially complicated 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.  You say that the image that interests you in numbered 52/100.  I'm not sure to what edition that refers: Joseph Foret's edition was numbered in Roman numerals (I-XXI), and the Jean Estrade edition is numbered 1-15, 16-165, 166-515, 516-865, and 866-4765.  There is also an Italian edition numbered A-Z and another in Roman numerals.  Then there is a German edition of 1000.  According to Albert Field, 70 sets of Jean Estrade's Les Heures Claires edition, which should be on Rives paper, were signed by Dali in 1970, and some were numbered /100, so perhaps the work in question is from that set?  As you can see, it's very difficult to tell.

You may want to direct your question to the Dali Archives in New York, as they specialise in Dali's graphics and do authenticating, so they will have more information on all the various Divine Comedy sets.  Sorry I can't be more definitive, but hopefully this gives you more information and will help in your decision.

Good luck!
Kind regards,

Fine Art

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.