Both works were sold directly to an Argentine noblewoman, the Countess de Cuevas de Vera by the artist in the 1930s and have remained in the family’s private collection ever since.
But now the pair are to be sold at auction by London’s Sotheby’s in the Surrealist Art Evening Sale on February 28th.
Tota Cueva de Vera on the porch of her home. Photo: John Phillips / Sotheby's
The Countess, known to all as Tota, divided her time between Argentina and Europe became a great friend and patron to the artists of the day including Dali, Picasso, Cocteau, Giacometti, Max Ernst, Le Corbusier, Man Ray as well as the Spanish surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel.
The two artworks that are offered on sale are characteristic of Dalís early Surrealist style.
Salvador Dalí's Gradiva, 1931. Photo: Sotheby's
“Painted in 1931, Gradiva is a jewel-like composition that unites Dalí’s unique painterly vision with the technical virtuosity characteristic of his early Surrealist art,” explains the Sotherby’s catalogue.
“Maison pour érotomane (circa 1932) also dates from the height of Dalí’s Surrealism and depicts a Catalan landscape, its rocks metamorphosing in front of the view’s eyes into a fantastical, dream-like image, dominated by two entities.
Salvador Dali's, Maison pour Erotomane. Photo: Sotheby's
“The one on the left appears to be a horse rising from the ground, its extremities seeming to transform into a cello and a car. Two spear-like shapes penetrate the form on the right, which in turn appears to be an intangible, yet somewhat anthropomorphic rock. It was such hallucinatory compositions, giving a visual manifestation to the realm of the subconscious, that so impressed Sigmund Freud, who first met the artist in 1939.”
Both have an estimated guide price of £1,200,000-1,800,000.