National Gallery of Victoria Annual Appeal: Dollars for Dalí

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Salvador Dalí (Spanish1904–89), Trilogy of the desert: Mirage, 1946.

The National Gallery of Victoria is calling on all Victorians to help support the acquisition of Australia’s first and only painting by Salvador Dalí, one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century and a defining pioneer of the Surrealist art movement.

Dalí’s Trilogy of the desert: Mirage 1946 is currently on display at NGV International and visitors are invited to make donations of any size – large or small – in order to help keep this work in Victoria.

Trilogy of the desert: Mirage was the centerpiece of a triptych commissioned by Shulton Cosmetics to promote a new perfume, Desert Flower. The work is a masterful surrealist composition: a female figure clasping a blooming flower is set amongst a desert landscape, complete with Renaissance architecture and a classical bust of the Apollo Belvedere.

This painting has not been on public display since the mid 1960s, at which time it went back into the private family collection of William Lightfoot Schultz, the owner of Shulton Cosmetics.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV said: ‘The work of Salvador Dalí has had an indellible influence on art movements, artists and pop culture that continues to this day. The NGV has a strong Surrealist collection with works by artists including René Magritte, Max Ernst, Sidney Nolan, Marcel Jean and James Gleeson. The addition of a painting by Dalí would be a defining acquisition for the Gallery and for Australia.’ 

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