Salvador Dalí made (or possibly only authorized) this suite of lithographs in 1976, directly inspired in three of the tarot cards, all from the major arcana: Temperance (no. XIV), The Tower (no. XVI) and The Hanged Man (no. XII). They were titled, respectively: Love’s Promise, The Eternity of Love and The Prince of Love.
My opinion is that Dalí’s actual contribution to these graphic works is limited to the secondary minor figures that appear in black in each one of them: the giraffe-necked angel in Love’s Promise, the page at the right side in The Prince of Love and the two Greek warriors at the left in The Eternity of Love. The rest –and most especially the pretty-looking angel in Love’s Promise– seems to me quite spurious (which does not mean that I dislike it).
[All are lithographs on paper, measuring 29 3/4 x 21 3/8 inches. Edition size: 290 copies of each one – Copyright © 1976 Salvador Dalí.]
To better understand the drawings above; the good ideas and the flaws in them, the additions and shortcomings; is necessary to know the source: the three trumps from the tarot deck; particularly the Rider-Waite tarot deck (originally published in 1910). (The detail that disappoints me most in the first drawing is that whoever did it failed to appreciate that the water the angel pours from one cup to the other goes upwards, against gravity; that “Dalí’s” angel pours it downwards seems, rather clearly to me, due to lack of information about the meaning of this card. Another, very different, matter is making the prince hang upwards, which is a good contribution.)
The memoir, the homage and the personal reference
These three cards and, to a lesser extent, the three Dalínian lithographs based on them, have brought to my mind a clear memory of three persons –all closely related to me– and made me think about the destiny of each of them. Hence this post; which I confess that may seem a bit cryptic. Actually it is; I even considered to title it with a single word of Kabbalistic appearance and sound; in a nutshell: Arililaia.
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