Two worlds collide: Salvador Dali illustrates Romeo and Juliet

In 1975, iconic Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali created a set of illustrations for an impossibly rare edition of Shakespeare’s 1597 tragedy Romeo and Juliet. 

The series, published by Rizzoli and Rizzoli, featured ten offset colour lithographs on heavy paper bound with 99 pages of text encased in a red silk slipcase. A total number of 999 books were printed and published, and number 819 of 999 is available for sale by the Lockport Street Gallery in Plainfield, Illinois.

Dali is mostly associated with his contributions to the Surrealist movement and to psychoanalytic exploration. His cognisance and appreciation for art and art history transcend the visual, and Dali regularly used literature as inspiration for his visual practice.

Dali romeo and juliet cover

Salvador Dali was on a mission to avoid being pigeonholed as a painter.

He made avant-garde films with Luis Buñuel, collaborated with Walt Disney on an animation in 1952, worked with Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound in 1942, published a wine guide in 1948 and even designed the original Chupa Chups logo in 1969.

Romeo and Juliet was not the only literary classic Salvador Dali illustrated. In 1946 he illustrated Don Quixote; in 1947, the essays of Montaigne; and in 1969, Alice in Wonderland.

Below are Salvador Dali’s illustrations of Romeo and Juliet:

Dali Romeo and Juliet

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Via Brain Pickings.