Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dali by Luis Romero (Spanish-language edition: 1975; English translation: 1979)

by Luis Romero
Spanish-language edition: 1975; English translation: 1979

This is one of the great books written about Salvador Dali. 

It combines both the author's first-hand knowledge of Dali, and the author's analysis of Dali's own writings and the words others have written about Dali.  In doing so, the author paints his own unique picture of Dali's artistic oeuvre while weaving in a good deal of biographical content.

Romero conceived of the book around 1969, while Dali was working on his masterwork, Hallucinogenic Bullfighter.  At that time, it was decided to use said work as the basis, or linking element, for this book.

While Romero's story winds through various Dali works, experiences, and anecdotes, it is the symbolism portrayed in the Bullfighter that Romero connects to the lifelong expressions of Dali.

Any Dali collector seeking a scholarly analysis of the Bullfighter, and Dali symbolism in general, should find this book easy to read and enlightening.  It answers questions it poses, and it poses questions that only now may become answerable. 

Romero concedes that at the time the book was published, it was difficult to provide comprehensive information about an artist's work which spanned the globe, especially in the absense of a complete catalog.  Remember that in 1970, the Morse's Dali ..... A Collection was only just being prepared and printed.
In all, Romero does a fantastic job of surveying Dali's most popular works in one text while addressing the images and symbols he saw in a contemporary Dali masterwork as it was being painted.

The book is replete with color and b&w illustrations and photos, illustrated endpapers, and an attractively decorated leatherette cover. 

Of course, there are many detail reproductions of the Hallucinogenic Bullfighter as different elements of the painting are addressed.  I particularly enjoyed some of the photos of Dali at work and at play.  One small photo shows Dali in the act of jumping rope with some children!

There appear to be contemporary reprints of this book, but the first edition is fairly easy to obtain.  A fine quality copy will cost about $25-$30.  I have one extra copy for sale, and your purchase will help support this web site.


Anonymous said...

I have a pencil signed first edition in fairly good condition w/out the dust-jacket and am curious as ti its value. Can you please point me in the right direction? I've tried a few other online resourses and have not found any valuation/auction/sale price information. Anything you might be able to tell me would be greatly appreciated! Thank you,

Dali Collector said...

The book itself is not rare, so the value is in the Dali signature. If it's just a signature and it's authentic with some sort of COA or assurance of authenticity, then it's worth about $250 (at best) to the right collector. If there is no way to authenticate the signature (just your word), the book may sell for fewer than $100, probably more like $75. A Dali signature is not worth much unless there is an accompanying drawing or it's on an authentic print.