Salvador Dalí, ‘Letter with sketch by Dalì to Countess Pecci-Blunt’, 1934, Wallector
Salvador Dalí, ‘Letter with sketch by Dalì to Countess Pecci-Blunt’, 1934, Wallector

Letter from Salvador Dalì to the countess Anna Laetitia Pecci-blunt.
L.A.S.s.l.n.d. (Lettre autographe signée sans lieu ni date) Autograph letter signed, neither place nor date, addressed to the Contessa Pecci-Blunt. Signed by "Salvador Dalì" and with small sketch in black ink in lower right hand corner. One page (21x13.3 cm) complete with red envelope showing postmark as 29 October 1934 (21x13.3cm). In Spanish. Excellent condition, except tiny mark in lower right-hand corner.

Interesting letter in which Dalì and Gala are dealing with the final preparations of their first trip to the United States. The departure is 9 days away, set for 7 November (1934). The Catalonian artist asks the Countess to be paid “the total for the months”, to get to New York, where a large exhibition is in preparation of Dalì’s latest oil paintings with a whole “new world of obsessions”. Just above the full signature of name and surname, in the lower right-hand corner there is a fresh sketch of a horseman looking out to sea towards a man on the horizon casting a long shadow.

The background:

It is a frenetic period for Dalì: for the first time he has an exhibition in America , he is writing poetry, he collaborates with the magazines “le Surréalisme au service de la revolution” and “Minotaure”, he creates scandal with the film “L’Age d’or” and is having success with his irrational objects, inventions which descend from the "paranoid-critical method".

In 1934, the year he wrote the letter, “The Persistence of Memory” is shown to the American public for the first time (thanks to art dealer Julian Levy), arousing both interest and uproar. American high society showed great enthusiasm for his ‘important exhibition’ and gave him a triumphant reception, organizing various parties which were to create a certain amount of gossip and controversy. At the special “Ball in honour of Dalì”, the artist arrived wearing a glass box on his chest containing a bra; at the heiress Caresse Crosby’s masked ball in New York, Dalì and Gala appeared dressed as baby Lindbergh and his captor. The reaction of the press was such that the couple were forced make a public apology. This is also the year when Dalì declares “I am myself Surrealism”; it is the beginning of the differences with the surrealists which will eventually lead to his expulsion from the group. However, this does not tarnish Dalì’s fame. If anything, it is the birth of the Dalì myth and, as he himself asserted, “The critics already distinguish between pre- and post- Dalì surrealism”. Sales of his works soar, to the point that in 1936 he earns the nickname of Avida Dollars, anagram of his name and given to him by Andrè Breton, to mock him for the over-commercialization of his work and for the mythomaniac operation that the artist knowingly creates around himself.

Signature: Autograph letter signed.

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