Salvador Dali - Le Spectre of Vermeer


Original brush and India ink on card, 1973, signed and dated “Dali 1973” , dedicated (above left) “A Luis”

Size: Height 22 ins x Width 14.1 Ins (55.6 x 35.9 cms)


There is a certificate from the Art Loss Register Reference S00211949 dated 26/8/2021 stating that this item is not on their database of lost or stolen works of Art

  1. Louis Markoya, New York, a gift from the artist in 1973
  2. Christies, New York, 7/11/2007 Lot 232 - Acquired by the last penultimate owner
  3. Christies, March 2021 Acquired by the last owner (Christies stock)

Note: In 1934 Dali made a small surrealist Oil painting entitled “The Ghost of Vermeer of Delft Which Can Be Used As a Table”. It makes reference to The Art of Paintings by Johannes Vermeer, a famous seventeenth-century work, in which a painter, thought to be a self-portrait of Vermeer, is depicted with his back to us, in distinctive costume. It is one of a number of paintings expressive of Dalí's enormous admiration for Vermeer. In Dali’s work Vermeer is represented as a dark spindly figure in a kneeling position. The figure's outstretched leg serves as a table top surface, on which sits a bottle and a small glass. This leg tapers to a baluster-like stub; there is a shoe nearby. The walls and the distant views of the mountains are based on real views near Dalí's home in Port Lligat . In Vermeer's painting the artist leans on a maulstick , and his hand is painted with an unusual blurriness, perhaps to indicate movement. In Dalí's painting Vermeer rests the same arm on a crutch.It is unsigned and undated but known to have been completed c.1934. It s currently on display at the Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, on loan from the E and A Reynolds Morse collection. “The Ghost of Vermeer” should also be seen in the context of his other reworkings of historic paintings, such as several works inspired by Millet’s Angelus. Our drawing is a later remembrance of this classic Dali surrealist image.

Authenticity: The buyer also obtains certificate number d4213 issued on the 23rd July 2002 by Robert & Nicolas Descharnes confirming authenticity.