Salvador Dalí, ‘L’Œil fleuri’, 1944, Opera Gallery

The oil-on-canvas L’Œil Fleuri was developed into a set design for the 1944 ballet production Tristan Fou (Mad Tristan). While he was primarily known as a painter, Dalí worked across a wide span of media including jewellery, film, sculpture and experimental stage design. Dalí was extensively involved in ballet and theatre, first designing for shows as early as 1927 and frequently entering these collaborations throughout his career. For Dalí, theatre productions provided an environment in which to explore a personal interest in the architectural elements undergirding painting. Haunting and intense, the eyes of L’Œil Fleuri draw attention to Dalí’s obsession with perception and attempts to produce a symbolic language capable of communicating his inner life.

Robert P., Nicolas R. & Olivier M. Descharnes have confirmed the authenticity of this work
This work is registered in the Archives Descharnes under the reference No. h1070

Marquis de Cuevas (acquired from the artist, 1944)
Mrs. Margaret Rockefeller de Cuevas (acquired by descent from the above)
Raymundo Larrain, Santiago (acquired by descent from the above, 1976)
Private collection (acquired by descent from the above)

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