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Salvador Dalí's Visual Story of Tristan and Iseult
30.01.2021
Art
Salvador Dalí

During the medieval age, one of the most popular literary genres was chivalric romance, a type of fantastic prose centered on the heroic figure of a chivalric knight. Based on the combination of legends, fairy tales, and history, these fascinating narratives emphasized themes of courtly love.

One of the most popular chivalric romances of the period is Tristan and Iseult. The story of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight and the Irish princess varied in interpretation since the 12th century, while the overall plot remained the same. Namely, after the great warrior Tristan was injured in battle, Iseult finds him and heals him. The princess is already engaged to his uncle, King Marc, and the knight is obliged to bring her back to Cornwall. During their voyage, the two drink a love potion by accident and hopelessly fall in love. Their relationship is soon followed by passion, betrayal, guilt, deceit, and tragedy.

Tristan and Iseult by Salvador Dalí

Tristan and Iseult inspired various artists, but the 20th-century figure who had a special interest in this romance was the iconic Surrealist Salvador Dalí. In 1944, the artist produced a large-scale painting featuring the two characters. However, twenty-five years later, he released a series of prints that was far more elaborate, as it featured different details of the whole story. The electrifying illustrations are executed in drypoint and infused with Dalí’s unique surrealist aesthetic; the artist was especially transfixed by the presence of the love potion that produces sensations similar to a surrealist state of mind, and the person exposed to it losses control over their actions.

Out of a total of twenty-one, we selected ten Dalí Tristan and Iseult prints that you can add to your art collection today, coming to you straight from our Marketplace alongside their story.

Featured image: Salvador Dali - Tristan and Iseult, 1970. Print. Etching on paper, 45 x 32 cm. All images courtesy of Samhart Gallery.

Salvador Dali - Tristan and The Dragon

 

Tristan and the Dragon

Dalí's Tristan and the Dragon print depicts the scene of the fatal encounter. Namely,

Tristan receives a task: to find King Marc a blonde-haired wife. During the journey, he faces a diabolical dragon who wounds him and Iseult heals him.

The dragon is presented in a three-dimensional fashion unlike many human figures on other prints from the series, and the knight’s dread is enforced by the dragon’s tail which spreads lively into the service.

Salvador Dali - Tristan Wounded

During the medieval age, one of the most popular literary genres was chivalric romance, a type of fantastic prose centered on the heroic figure of a chivalric knight. Based on the combination of legends, fairy tales, and history, these fascinating narratives emphasized themes of courtly love.

One of the most popular chivalric romances of the period is Tristan and Iseult. The story of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight and the Irish princess varied in interpretation since the 12th century, while the overall plot remained the same. Namely, after the great warrior Tristan was injured in battle, Iseult finds him and heals him. The princess is already engaged to his uncle, King Marc, and the knight is obliged to bring her back to Cornwall. During their voyage, the two drink a love potion by accident and hopelessly fall in love. Their relationship is soon followed by passion, betrayal, guilt, deceit, and tragedy.

Tristan and Iseult by Salvador Dalí

Tristan and Iseult inspired various artists, but the 20th-century figure who had a special interest in this romance was the iconic Surrealist Salvador Dalí. In 1944, the artist produced a large-scale painting featuring the two characters. However, twenty-five years later, he released a series of prints that was far more elaborate, as it featured different details of the whole story. The electrifying illustrations are executed in drypoint and infused with Dalí’s unique surrealist aesthetic; the artist was especially transfixed by the presence of the love potion that produces sensations similar to a surrealist state of mind, and the person exposed to it losses control over their actions.

Out of a total of twenty-one, we selected ten Dalí Tristan and Iseult prints that you can add to your art collection today, coming to you straight from our Marketplace alongside their story.

Featured image: Salvador Dali - Tristan and Iseult, 1970. Print. Etching on paper, 45 x 32 cm. All images courtesy of Samhart Gallery.

 

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