Salvador Dalí: The Twelve Tribes of Israel

22 November - 31 December 2021 Laguna Beach, Palm Desert

Dawson Cole Fine Art is pleased to present an online exhibition of rare etchings by distinguished Spanish artist Salvador Dali (1904-89).  Salvador Dalí was an icon of Surrealism, the 20th-century avant-garde movement that sought to release unconscious creative potential through art that featured dreamlike imagery. Dalí’s fantastical prints, paintings, sculptures, films, and writing helped cement the movement’s identity. Working off psychoanalytic ideas, Dalí rendered fantastical creatures and landscapes that could unsettle and awe. His 1931 canvas, The Persistence of Memory is one of the most recognizable artworks of all time.  Dalí exhibited widely in his lifetime, and his works belong in the collections of institutions including the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.


In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the State of Israel, Salvador Dali created a series inspired by the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  Each etching in the series represents one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The work includes images partially based on the blessing of Jacob or the blessing of Moses to the tribes. These are presented through symbol, flag, color and jewel stones from the breastplate. The accompanying descriptions are rendered in Dali’s surrealistic style, whereby relations of size, color and shape are not necessarily linked to reality, but present the private world of the artist.  One can discern diagonal lines that provide the work with a feeling of depth. One large image dominates most of the page and usually characterizes the tribe. In front or behind it is a small object that completes the composition. The colors are bright and the style is minimalistic – both signature elements to Dali’s works. The Twelve Tribes of Israel suite is an important and considerable body of work for Dali and we are pleased to present to you the complete portfolio from 1973, comprising of 13 etchings with pochoir coloring, each signed in pencil by the artist and numbered.