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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.
“The Toad” 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 ten 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.
“The Toad” shows Dalí’s trademark eroticism from multiple perspectives. On the right side of this image, there is a face depicted peering in, gazing, and even drooling, at the sexual scenes before him. The face appears to be watching each situation unfold, eerily fantasizing about the subjects. There are groups of individuals, each engaging in a different sensual act. There is a dog and a woman, a man with two women, and a young man with a girl. There are numbers scattered throughout the image in a bold, black tone. There is another figure stretched across the foreground that appears to be an undeterminable animal with a long fish-like tail, two legs, and a head with one closed eyelid. “The Toad” is an 11.5 x 8.5- inch hand-signed etching on drypoint with gilding created in 1974.