Artist Spotlight: Salvador Dalí

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern Art

This June at Clars Auctions we are thrilled to present a sale that is bursting with exceptional artwork from iconic creators. One of the most exciting pieces in this month’s Important Summer Fine Art Sale is a never-before-sold oil on canvas painting by world-renowned Spanish Surrealist, Salvador Dalí.


Over the course of the early to mid-twentieth century, Dalí established himself as perhaps the most celebrated of the Surrealist painters, famous for both his instantly recognizable visual style and for his eccentric personality and antics. The painting in this month’s sale is titled Portrait of Mrs. Luther Greene and dates to 1942 — the year of the artist’s first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989), Portrait of Mrs. Luther Greene, 1942, oil on canvas, signed and dated right center, 24″ x 20″ (61 x 50.8 cm). Accompanied by preliminary study sketches of Mrs. Greene by Dalí from 1942 (charcoal/ink on paper). Provenance: Private collection (by descent); Mrs. Luther Greene (Ellen Chamberlain), New York. Catalog reference: Fundació Gala - Salvador Dalí: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Salvador Dalí (cat. no. P 565). © Fundació Gala - Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989), Portrait of Mrs. Luther Greene, 1942, oil on canvas, signed and dated right center, 24″ x 20″ (61 cm x 50.8 cm). Accompanied by preliminary study sketches of Mrs. Greene by Dalí from 1942 (charcoal/ink on paper). Provenance: Private collection (by descent); Mrs. Luther Greene (Ellen Chamberlain), New York. Catalog reference: Fundació Gala – Salvador Dalí: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Salvador Dalí (cat. no. P 565). © Fundació Gala – Salvador Dalí
Estimate: $700,000–$1,000,000

The portrait depicts the patron seated in the foreground, wrapped in a wine-red sheet, with her dark hair juxtaposed against olive skin. Behind her is a classic Dalíesque landscape, an otherworldly desert with smooth orange sand under a gradient green and blue sky. Two figures stand in the distance, one presenting as a partially skeletonized angel of sorts — with one wing intact and both arms cut at the shoulder — recalling antique marbles, such as the Venus de Milo. An amorphous hill on the far right is dotted with buildings, resembling a forgotten ghost town in desolate terrain, and a small boat sits beached by the shore on the far left. This exemplary piece of Dalí’s catalog is accompanied by the preliminary sketches done by the artist in preparation for the painting.

In addition to the aforementioned work, we are also pleased to offer abstract sculptures by Claire Falkenstein, a life-size bronze gown by Karen LaMonte, a suite of six bullfighting paintings by LeRoy Neiman, an abstract expressionist oil by Tancredi Parmeggiani, and much more in our Important Summer Fine Art Sale on June 20th.

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