Salvador Dalí, ‘Aquae diluvii super terram - From "Biblia Sacra"’, 1964, Wallector
Salvador Dalí, ‘Aquae diluvii super terram - From "Biblia Sacra"’, 1964, Wallector

Aquae diluvii super terram is an original artwork realized by Salvador Dalí in 1964. It is part of Biblia Sacra vulgatæ editionis published by Rizzoli-Mediolani between 1967 and 1969. Color lithograph on heavy rag paper. Signed and dated on plate on the right margin. Perfect conditions.

The artwork represents the universal deluge, a great flood sent by God to destroy civilization as an act of divine punishment. On the right, we can see the little Noah's ark and in the center, a black spot represents the destruction that the earth underwent during the flood. The lithograph is part of the imponent work Biblia Sacra vulgatæ editionis published by Rizzoli-Mediolani between 1967 and 1969. It was illustrated by Salvador Dalí with a suite of 105 colored lithographs after water-color artworks. The paper sheets are signed and dated on plate, and each of them comes with a Japanese paper tissue with a printed biblical quotation. The works also demonstrate Dalí’s artistic spontaneity in the use of the “bulletism” technique, a Dalinian invention where an arquebus (a type of ancient gun) is loaded with ink-filled capsules and then fired against blank sheets of paper. In 1963, Biblia Sacra was commissioned by Giuseppe Albaretto, a very pious man, who was one of Dalí’s closest friends and patrons between the 1950s and the 1960s. Giuseppe Albaretto and his wife Mara commissioned several of Dalí's works, and became important publishers of his etchings and lithographs, including the Biblia Sacra. Through these commissions, Albaretto hoped that Dalí would reconcile with religion. The friendship between the Albarettos and Salvador Dalí provided the art world with some of the most spectacular Surrealist artworks. These works are a few of the most desirable graphic works ever created by the artist. In the preface of the work, the publisher asserts that the lithographs “configure, in both a universal and a personal way, the dynamic vision that characterizes the relationship between men and God”.

Salvador Dalí (Figueres, 1904 – Figueres, 1989) is considered one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the XX century and the founding father of Surrealism. In the course of his long career, he successfully experimented with sculpture, fashion, writing, and filmmaking. In his early use of organic morphology, his work bears the stamp of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. His work is also characterized by a fascination with classical art, manifested in the realistic style and religious symbolism of his latest works. Dalí was born near Barcelona to a middle class family. He soon demonstrated an interest in art, and, at the age of 18, he attended the Special Painting, Sculpture and Engraving School of San Fernando in Madrid. His eccentricity was notorious, and at first even more famous than his works. When he traveled to Paris, he met Pablo Picasso in his studio and took inspiration from Cubism. In 1928, he collaborated with Buñuel on Un Chien Andalou, which eventually became a manifest of Surrealism. Surrealists considered recruiting Dalí into their circle. In the next years, Dalí’s paintings illustrated his theories about paranoia. He painted bodies, corps, objects that reflected sexuality, anxiety and fear. In the 1950s, Dalí’s paintings focused on religious themes reflecting his interest in the supernatural. During that period, he stayed at the St. Regis hotel, where he met Andy Warhol, another eccentric personality that was considered a modern influence for the setting Dalí produced earlier. Dalí epitomizes the idea that life is the greatest form of art; André Breton said about him: “It is with Dalí that, for the very first time, the windows of the mind are wide open”.

Signature: Signed and dated on plate on the right margin.

About Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí was a leading proponent of Surrealism, the 20-century avant-garde movement that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious through strange, dream-like imagery. “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision,” he said. Dalí is specially credited with the innovation of “paranoia-criticism,” a philosophy of art making he defined as “irrational understanding based on the interpretive-critical association of delirious phenomena.” In addition to meticulously painting fantastic compositions, such as The Accommodations of Desire (1929) and the melting clocks in his famed The Persistence of Memory (1931), Dalí was a prolific writer and early filmmaker, and cultivated an eccentric public persona with his flamboyant mustache, pet ocelot, and outlandish behavior and quips. “Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure,” he once said. “That of being Salvador Dalí.”

Spanish, 1904-1989, Figueres, Spain