Oil painting certified as early work of Surrealist master Dali
By Daniel Silva ,AP
May 24, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
MADRID -- An oil painting sold at a Spanish antique shop over two decades ago for around 150 euros (US$200) has been certified as Salvador Dali's first Surrealist work which he painted as a teenager, art experts said Thursday.
Tomeu L'Amo, a painter and art historian, found the canvas at a store in Girona in northeastern Spain in 1988 and suspecting it was a work by Dali he paid 25,000 pesetas, Spain's currency at the time, for it.
"I was very happy. I felt like a kid in a candy store," he told a news conference in Madrid to discuss the conclusions of art experts who have studied the work.
"When I saw its colors I suspected it was a Dali. That was my opinion but I did not have proof. I investigated and little by little I realized it was a Dali."
"The Intrautirine Birth of Salvador Dali," which depicts angels floating in the sky over a volcano, bears the Spanish artist's signature below a short dedication.
It was dismissed for years as the work of an unknown artist because the signature includes the date 1896 — eight years before Dali was born.
But after subjecting the painting to the latest high-tech tests — including infrared photography, X-rays and ultraviolet radiation — between 2004 and 2013 art experts have concluded that it is indeed the work of Dali and was made around 1921 when he was 17-years-old.
The work employs thick brushstrokes with the figures defined by strokes of black and blue pencil, a technique frequently used by Dali, said Carmen Linares, the head of the conservation department at Barcelona's Frederic Mares Museum.
"Infrared photography has improved the visualization of the black lines thus confirming the use of this technique which is also used in other works by the artist," she said.