The centennial Dalí retrospektive |
in Venice and Philadelphia refers in its catalog page 363 to exhibit 222, one of the original watercolors by Dalí illustrating Dante's Divine Comedy. It is the only one in the exhibition as it already was in retrospectives 1989 in Stuttgart and Zürich.
The explanations on page 362 are signed by Ricard Mas Peinado, (also author of a 2004 book on Dalí's life). In these explanations there are errors about sizes, years, print technique, print run numbers. Even the name of Jean Estrade is misspelled.
Completely misleading, however, is the explanation of Dalí's motif in the illustration to show Count Ugolino's son in the foreground and the Count himself in the background! This unbearably discredits Dalí's deep understanding of Dante's poem and the care for it the painter had put into his illustrations.
In fact, it is correct that the illustration matches with Inferno Canto 33. The Italian text edition with Dalí's illustrations was the first to present it there. But it is not only nonsense to read into Dante's text that one of the innocent sons of Count Ugolino were a sinner condemned to freeze in the Inferno. Beyond that, Dalí intentionally formed the body in the background with its frame of cypresses after his illustration of Luzifer for the next Canto 34.
A revised and enriched version of page 362 is accessible here as a .pdf data set for viewing it with ADOBE Acrobat Reader.