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Salvador Dali 1904-1989 (2 Vols.) Hardcover – August 1, 2007

32 customer reviews

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Hardcover, August 1, 2007
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Dalí: The Paintings
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bound to become the standard reference work..." Le Figaro, Paris"

About the Author

Robert Descharnes, a photographer and writer, has published studies of major artists, among them Antoni Gaudi and Auguste Rodin. Since 1950, he has been documenting and cataloguing Dali's paintings and writings, and is now considered the leading expert on the artist. Shortly before Dali's death, Descharnes was appointed by him to take charge of the rights to his works, within the Societe Demart Pro Arte B.V., of which Descharnes is president. Gilles Neret was an art historian, journalist, writer, and museum correspondent. He organized several art retrospectives in Japan and founded the SEIBU museum and the Wildenstein Gallery in Tokyo. He directed art reviews such as L'Oeil and Connaissance des Arts and received the Elie Faure Prize in 1981 for his publications. Neret is the editor of TASCHEN's catalogues raisonnes of the works of Monet and Velazquez, as well as the author of Dali - The Paintings and Erotica Universalis. He died on August 3, 2005.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 780 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822838225
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822838228
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 3.4 x 13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #764,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nsandz on January 3, 2008
I have many books on Dali and his artwork. Some I have bought, some others have bought for me, but I was given this book as a gift, and I love it. I have decided that I do not need any of the other books on him, this one has all the famous pieces and more, some of the pictures I never even knew that he had created. Plus it is very informative. This is an amazing book, I would recommend anyone interested in surrealism to buy this book, for its price, it is a steal!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 9, 2008
Well, at nearly 6kg, a whap in the head with this thing would certainly loosen some screws. That's not what I meant, though.

It's huge, beautiful, and encyclopedic. It covers Dalí's entire career, with all of the different stages he went through in creating his art and himself. There's just too much to try to summarize here - the book takes over 1600 photos to illustrate his life. Most of them depict Dalí's art or Dalí himself (I still suspect that he lived his entire life as a work of performance art). Others depict influences on his art. Some show work by other artists, for contrast or as part of Dalí's heritage. A few show features of the natural world, a rock formation, for example, that the alchemy of Dalí's magic transmuted into new visual elements.

And, throughout, there is Gala - Dalí's wife, agent, manager, muse, model, and tour guide for his visit to planet Earth. I hate the phrase that would call Gala his "better half," but I'm sure that Dalí would have been incomplete in many ways without her. Certainly, his finished works owe much to the way she inspired him.

I fault this wonderful work for only one thing, but one that I find maddening: there is no index. In partial compensation, end matter lists each photo or work of art, in numerical order as they appeared in the book, with provenance and other information about any art shown. A bibliogrpahy would have been nice, too - but no index! With a book like this, it almost feels as if the last twenty pages had been ripped out.

Don't let that bit of pedantry get in the way of enjoying this marvelous collection, though.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ann Martin on December 1, 2008
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This book is a complete overview of Dali's works, it's more like an encyclopedia. But I would prefer it to have huge full-page illustrations of the paintings, even double-page ones! Because you can's appreciate the picture if it's only like 4x4". And Dali's paintings have so many small details, so that you want to be able to see them!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dream factory on April 29, 2008
In order to rightfully qualify as a "definitive" type art book it must posses certain features. (1) - Quality 4 color reproductions true to the original artwork. With a high volume of reprints spanning the course of the artists productivity. (2) - Exemplary narrative text by qualified authorship. Indeed this comprehensive large edition triumphs in these requirements. . . . . . . Robert Descharnes' (the principle author) intimate knowledge stems from his 40 year personal relationship with Dali. Plus his own renouned contributions to art journals make this an interesting read. The reproductions are first-rate. This exact same book had previously been printed (1994) in a smaller format. And contrary to the above amazon stats; this is an 2006 edition. The colors are more accurate in this new edition. This is especially noted in the reproduced paper drawings. And 'Sfumato' was executed using a candle flame to scorch/smoke the paper. Beautifully reproduced here while it was blue in the previous edition. In 'Invention of the Monsters' you can make out the fine marblized grain of the sarcophagus table. In no other text in my Dali collection (#8) is this evident. Yet in 'The Cosmic Athletes' the intracranial contents of one figure is pitch black where it should have tea brown striations. These nuances may be too subtle to nitpick, but worth mentioning. . . . In 1984 Descharnes put out a gigantic sized $$$$ volume. The colors duller. The text good, but scattered. It did include some rare poster projects. None the less this 2006 edition proves to be a wonderful art book. Quoting Dali I'm sure he would agree; "Dali lovers could have sat down at table to feast on me!".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By buyer on April 4, 2012
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I purchased this two-volume set to replace my other Dali books, and they have. This set is outstanding, especially for the inclusion of beautiful early works I had not seen published elsewhere such as the 'Botijo and Peras' still life.

Dali's polarizing art and lifestyle prompted extreme reactions from art critics, essayists, and propagandists. Fortunately, this set contains excellent information and important insights from Dali-insider Robert Descharnes. Descharnes presents biographical facts and writing excerpts in a coherent overview of Dali's artistic development.

This set contains a good number of drawings. Some are reprinted from the book "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship" by Salvador Dali, but I found many of them to be new. The drawings include studies and outlines for paintings, rarely seen erotic pieces, and illustrations for books.

For an excellent single-volume treatment of Dali by the same authors, I recommend "Dali" by Robert Descharnes (Author), Gilles Beret (Contributor) ISBN-10: 3822802980.
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