In the midst of Mao's Cultural Revolution...
In the midst of Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China, followed by the May, 1968 riots in France, Pierre Argillet presented
Dali with a copy of Mao Zedong’s book of “Poems.” Enthused, Dali made 8 images, sparked, in part, by two of the poems,
and in part by his reaction to the notion of a small, delicate book of verse by a totalitarian leader.
Several of the etchings are satirical:
»The Flowers are towering fleurs-de-lis -symbols of royalty – with people trying in vain to reach them.
»Crowns emerge from the River of Plenty.
»In a reference to Mao’s ego, his Statue is headless because, according to the artist, Mao was “too large to fit the etching plate.”
»An etching of dancing Demons is Dali’s idea of Mao’s opinion of the Japanese.
»And, in The Tortoise, the giant, primitive beasts crawl through a field of excrement resembling the Yin/Yang
symbol; representing Mao’s trampling on thousands of years of Eastern culture and Buddhist peace and harmony.
Documentation & Edition Details
Released by Argillet, Paris. 1966-1967.
A portfolio of 8 hand-colored etchings [heliogravure reworked with drypoint] Image size: 9.25 x 17.4 in. | 23.5 by 18.7 cm
Reference: Michler/Lopsinger 209-216
Each etching is signed by Dali in the same area as the artist’s blindstamp.
Edition of 229, of which 151 on Arches paper; 78 printed on a variety of papers.
Edition of 95 on Japanese paper, hand-colored.
Printed at Atelier Robbe, Paris,
Provenance of examples purchased:
Dali/Argillet to the Argillet family to SHFA to you.
The work you receive has been archivally stored, in Paris,
for 47 years, and is in untouched condition.
All images and text shown on this site are copyright © Sam Heller Fine Art. Ltd., and may not be reproduced or distributed for any commercial purpose without express written permission under penalty of law. All rights reserved. Images displayed on this site of etchings by Salvador Dali are copyright Argillet/GSDF for imagery; and Sam Heller Fine Art, Ltd. for the actual digitally-framed, accuracy-adjusted, sample photographs displayed.