by Dr. Lori Verderame
The world famous Surrealist artist, Salvador Dali produced paintings, prints, and mixed media works of art in the early years of the 1900s. There has been controversy about the authenticity, however, of many of his works on paper.
Just because Salvador Dali signed your print, that does not mean that you have an authentic work on paper. There are many ways to reproduce works of art and artist’s signatures. The surrealist artist signed, some contend, thousands of blank sheets of paper that were later used to reproduce images from his paintings. Literally thousands of prints have been published that bear Dali’s signature in its many different forms–some authentic and like other artists’ work, some fakes. Dali signed his name in different ways as many artists do throughout long careers. Many of these signatures which were actual signatures by the artist’s own hand however the images that were laid down on the same piece of paper with that real signature could also be considered fake. It is a fascinating aspect of the Dali story.
The most frequently reproduced Dali prints were images of the metamorphosis of Narcissus and the Toreador based on Dali’s famous paintings.
In 1992, a publication blew the lid off the issue of Dali fakes entitled The Great Dali Art Fraud & Other Deceptions. Some of the aspects of that report included Dali’s agreement to a contract where he signed between 17,500 and 20,500 blank sheets of paper for tarot card image prints. It has been documented that Dali sold these signed sheets to Leon Amiel, a New Jersey publisher of art books. Also, it has been noted by some art world insiders that Dali agreed to sign 13,000+ blank sheets for another buyer for the sum of $520,000. The controversy surrounding Dali’s work and his unique style of art have raised and diminished his stature in the world of fine art.
It has been further noted that when Dali was too ill to sign his name to paper used to host his printed artwork, he used his thumb print as an equivalent indicator of authenticity. Dali is an interesting artist and art world character in my opinion and his works are worthy of a second look despite the controversy.
Get an online appraisal of your Salvador Dali piece from Dr. Lori.