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article imagePainting bought for $200 proven as work of Salvador Dali (Video)

By Anne Sewell     May 23, 2014 in Entertainment
Madrid - A painter and art historian was browsing in a store in Girona, Spain in 1988 when he found a canvas he suspected was painted by Salvador Dali. He paid 25,000 pesetas for the work (around $200) and took it home. It has now proven to be the work of Dali.
Tomeu L'Amo told the media that by the colors and the style of the painting, he was pretty certain it was the work of Dali, but at that time he had no proof. Now his theories have been vindicated, he is over the moon.
"I was very happy. I felt like a kid in a candy store," he told a news conference in Madrid.
The reasons why it was not authenticated before included the fact that the signature on the painting has the date 1896, which was eight years before Dali was even born.
Since then, during the period 2004 to 2013, the painting has been subjected to the latest high-tech tests, including X-rays, ultraviolet radiation and infrared photography. Art experts have now finally and categorically concluded that it is, indeed, the work of the surrealist Dali. It would have been painted around 1921 when Dali was 17 years old.
 The Intrauterine Birth of Salvador Dali
"The Intrauterine Birth of Salvador Dali"
The painting, which has been dubbed "The Intrauterine Birth of Salvador Dali," depicts angels swirling around in the sky over a volcano. The work employs thick brushstrokes with figures created using black and blue pencil, a frequently-used Dali technique. Experts believe that the painting shows a representation of the artist himself in the womb, with his brother, who died before Dali was born, being transformed into an angel.
Carmen Linares, the head of the conservation department at Barcelona's Frederic Mares Museum, said, "Infrared photography has improved the visualization of the black lines thus confirming the use of this technique which is also used in other works by the artist."
The work bears Dali's signature in the bottom right-hand corner below a brief dedication. According to Jose Pedro Venzal, a handwriting analyst, the script used in the ten-word dedication corresponds with Dali's writing style at the time. A translation of the dedication reads, "To My Dear Teacher on the day of his birth", with the date 27-IX-96.
"Writing samples from the dedication and signature coincide with the handwriting and signature which the artist had in the 1920s," he said. According to Venzal, the dedication (in Catalan) also contained a spelling mistake often made by Dali, which had been carefully corrected and was not visible to the naked eye.
Dali had a reputation for making outrageous claims and for carrying out unusual media stunts. Referring to the year on the signature, L'Amo believes Dali used numerology to come up with the date.
According to experts, further evidence exists that Dali had said at one stage that when "Very young I composed a piece on angels."
"Dali must be laughing in his grave at the thought that he managed to fool everyone for so many years," he said.
Earlier this month, L'Amo sold the painting for an undisclosed amount, to a collector who prefers to remain anonymous, but you can bet it went for a high figure.
Salvador Dalí  June 16  1934  Paris
Salvador Dalí, June 16, 1934, Paris
Carl Van Vechten estate
According to Nicolas Descharnes, a leading Dali expert who had the opportunity to study the painting, the work can be considered first surrealist work of Dali. He added that while the Surrealist movement was not formally founded until 1924 by the French writer and poet Andre Breton, the term did exist when Dali made the painting.
"It is the only pictorial representation of a recurring theme in the writings of Salvador Dali something the artist called his Intrauterine birth in his autobiography," Descharmes said.
The video above (in Spanish) speaks on the subject and shows a reenactment of L'Amo discovering the painting in the antique store.
A controversial artist, popular for his creative genius, Dali died of heart failure at the age of 85 in his hometown of Figueres in northeastern Spain.
More about girona, Salvador dali, The Intrauterine Birth of Salvador Dali, Tomeu L'Amo, Surrealist
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