Salvador Dali – The Pierre Argillet Collection

Salvador Dali – The Pierre Argillet Collection | 30 years of Collaboration

Winn Slavin Fine Art of Beverly Hills, California will host a rare exhibition of etchings, engravings and other artworks by master Surrealist Salvador Dali from August 19th through September 15th, 2018. The works exhibited are from the Pierre Argillet Collection and date prior to 1973. The Collection, whose permanent home was formerly the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France and has been exhibited in prestigious museums around the world including:


1971 Musee Boijmans, Rotterdam, Netherlands

– 1988 Pushkin Museum, Moscow, USSR

– 1989 The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

– 1989 Kunthaus, Zurich & Staatsgarlerie, Stuttgart, Germany

– 1990 Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan – 1990 Daimaru Art Museum, Osaka, Japan

– 1990 Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Hiroshima, Japan

The 200 engravings which were published as part of the Pierre Argillet Collection were the result of a life-long friendship between Pierre Argillet, an avid collector and publisher of Futurist, Dadaist and Surrealist art, and Surrealist Master Salvador Dali. All editions in the Collection were authorized and signed by Dali himself and the Collection is widely regarded as one of the most authentic and important collections of Dali’s finest engravings.


About Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali, an eccentric and often outrageous personality, is perhaps the best known of the Surrealists. Born in 1904 in Figueras, Spain and named after his deceased older brother, he was a difficult child who refused to conform to family or community customs – a trait that continued with him until his death in 1989.

Dali’s innate talent for art revealed itself at an early age and contributed to an arrogance that resulted in him being expelled from the prestigious San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts when he refused to take final examinations with the explanation that no one at the Academy was qualified to evaluate his ability.

At the age of 21, Dali had his first one artist exhibition in Barcelona followed a year later by his first one artist exhibition in Paris where he became involved with the Surrealists, a group of artists and writers who sought to establish the “greater reality” of human subconscious over reason. He became a leader of the group but was expelled from the group in 1934 for being apolitical. At the time of his expulsion he explained, with typical Dali arrogance, “The difference between me and the surrealists is that I am Surrealism.”

Dali is widely regarded as having created a new movement in art. He was not limited to a particular style or media and left behind as his legacy a wide assortment of oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, graphic works, sculpture, jewels and a variety of other objects.

About The Pierre Argillet Collection

Image Taken - 1963
The Pierre Argillet Collection, the result of a partnership over a thirty year period between the master of surrealism Salvador Dali and his publisher Pierre Argillet.

Pierre Argillet was an avid collector of works by Futurists, Dadists and Surrealists, and very early on, met the major artists of the 20th century. As a young man of 20, Pierre Argillet developed a fascination for the writing of Isidore Ducasse, the Comte de Lautreamont (1846 – 1870). Of particular interest was Lautreamont’s Chants du Maldoror, one of the earliest and most astonishing examples of Surrealist writing, in which the author’s fantasy unveils a nightmarish world of extraordinary imaginary demons, in writing drenched with an unrestrained savagery and menace possessing a remarkable hallucinatory quality. Argillet’s discovery of Lautreamont set him on a path along which he explored the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Fillipo Marinetti, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara and Giorgio de Chirico. He counted Duchamp and Jean Arp among his acquaintances, but when he met Dali, complicity led to a life-long friendship that lasted until the painter’s death in 1989.

Be it luck or fate, Dali’s delicious vision led to a long and fruitful collaboration between artist and publisher. They produced nearly 200 etchings. To name a few: Mythology (16 engravings), Christ, Sainte-Anne, Incantation. In 1966, Dali reworked seven pieces of the Bullfight set of Picasso, giving them his macabre, yet humorous vision. Images hidden in the crowd and arena suggest the skull of a bull fighter. In another etching, a galloping giraffe catches fire as if in a tragicomedy. His subjects vary from windmills, parrots, fish and a statue of a woman.

In 1968, Dali illustrated “Night de Walpurgis” of Faust (21 engravings) using rubies and diamonds as engraving tools, a technique that lent an incomparable delicacy to the design; next came the “Poemes” of Ronsard (18 engravings) and “Apollinaire” (18 engravings). In 1969, Dali created “Venus in Furs” after Sacher Masoch (20 engravings), and between 1970-71, the Suites of Don Juan (3 engravings) and Hippies (11 engravings).

In 1974, artist and publisher parted ways. Pierre Argillet would only accept etchings done in the traditional way, on copper, and refused to go along with Dali’s desire to make photo-based lithographs. By using this process, Dali went on to produce a large number of works that appealed to a more widespread audience than ever before, but they were also subject to more criticism.

The Pierre Argillet Collection demonstrates high standards of quality, and the impassioned collaboration between an artist and his publisher. This collection’s permanent home was formerly at the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France and the Dali Museum in Figueras, Spain.


Collection of Artworks by Salvador Dali