Dalí's "masterpiece" rediscovered
The painting 'Cosmic Madonna' had been in private hands for more than 50 years
Barcelona"It is a very interesting find for the market of Dalí's works", states Bernard Ewell, member of the American Society of Appraisers, about the painting Cosmic Madonna. For Elliott H. King, professor of art history and curator of the exhibition Dalí: the late work in Atlanta, "the revival of the painting in all its dazzling colour shows it to be one of Dalí's most successful and elaborate works of the post-war period". Cosmic Madonna is a 152.5 x 91.5 cm oil painting dated from 1958 that mixes an interest in mysticism and atomic energy. It had been seen in a couple of exhibitions in the late 1950s and in another in New York in 1965, but since then it had decorated a wall of the buyer's residence. In fact, the work is included in the catalogue raisonné of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, although it is only reproduced in black and white.
The current owner, who is American, has received it as an inheritance and prefers to remain anonymous and delegate the management of a possible sale to Ewell and his partner, the Mexican expert Enrique Esteban Zepeda. As Zepeda reminds us, one of the attractions of Cosmic Madonna is that it is the "last masterpiece by Dalí that can be acquired by a private individual or a private entity, since all the works of this level are already in museums or large private collections".
On the back of the canvas is written a sort of alternative title: "The cut end of Van Gogh's ear dematerializing itself from its frightful existentialism and pi-mesonically exploding in the dazzlement of Raphael's Sistine Madonna". Ewell and Zepeda have created the website www.cosmicmadonna.com to provide more information to prospective buyers, including photographs of Dalí posing with the Cosmic Madonna in Portlligat.