An off-the-wall painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dalí sold for a staggering €9 million in London last night.
The Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages, made by Dali in 1937, showcases the artist’s typical kooky Surrealism, depicting human silhouettes frame landscapes inhabited by rocks, disfigured trees and other dreamlike motifs.
The work, which comes from the collection of the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, went on sale for the first time as part of a session at the Bonhams auction house dedicated to impressionist and modern art.
It’s most distinctive feature is a burning giraffe, likely linked to the Spanish Civil War, which was raging at the time it was painted.
The Spanish’s relationship with the French Surrealists had been close since his first solo exhibition in Paris in November 1929, whose catalog included a preface by the poet André Breton.
“It is perhaps, with Dalí, the first time that the windows of the mind have been wide open,” wrote the surrealist author.
The painter was deeply influenced since then by this group, influenced in turn by the theories about the unconscious and dreams of the piscoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
The sale, while pricey, failed to top the auction record for a Dali piece – which currently stands at €15million.