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About the Work
Salvador Dalí is commonly regarded as one of the greatest Surrealist artists, whose personality was often displayed on his magnificent works of art. He practiced sculpting, advertising, printmaking, fashion, filmmaking and more. Dalí’s mischievousness and peculiar personality contributed to his status as an international celebrity, but he is better known for his most distinct attribute: his mastery of art. Dalí’s significance and talent rank him among the most versatile and prolific artists of the 20th century.
“Duel with Camelias” is part of an erotic group of prints by Salvador Dalí that depicts “Les Amours Jaunes”. Other works in this series that were depicted by Dalí include “Pudentiane”, “The Rebel Poet”, “The Eternal Madame”, and more. These are also known as the only published poems of Tristan Corbière, a French poet considered one of the “poetes maudits” by Paul Verlaine, a representative of artists who lived outside of society’s boundaries. Of all the 24 poems in Corbière’s work, Dalí chose 10 to elaborate on in his own iconic and amusing style. Micheler Lopsinger notes that the original plan was to illustrate a more erotic text, but this was rejected in favor of the present one. The etchings were reworked and amplified in drypoint by Dalí, and all impressions were gilded by Atelier Jacomet.
“Duel with Camelias” displays Dalí’s impeccable skill and signature surrealistic style. In the center of the image, a nude woman can be seen lying with her legs spread to her sides. It appears she is crying, with a tear dripping out of her eye. Beside her are two masculine figures, possibly nude as well. The figure to the right has spotted gilding from its head to its feet. There seems to be a halo in gilding above the figure on the left, and a devious creature next to that. This creature is frail and is on its hands and knees. It has long ears, big eyelashes, a sharp chin and seems to be reaching for a smaller, more innocent creature. “Duel with Camelias” is an 11.5 x 8.5- inch hand-signed etching on drypoint with gilding created in 1974.