Salvador Dali’s Alice in Wonderland Illustrations, 1969 + Book Review: ‘The Annotated Alice’ by Martin Gardner

  Salvador Dali, a renowned artist of the surrealist movement, is popular for his imaginative and dream like paintings (and that moustache!). Dali has left us many masterpieces including  ‘The Persistence of Memory’ and ‘Apparition of a Face & Fruit Dish on a Beach’. However, Dali had also created a collection of boldly coloured illustrations for Lewis Caroll’s classic tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (1865) to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of this beloved children’s tale.

Lewis Caroll and Salvador Dali: images sourced from Wikipedia.

The original gouaches were first published by Maecenas Press-Random House, New York (1969) and featured as their ‘Book of the Month.’ These original copies are highly sought after, even fetching prices of over $12,000.00!!

Salvador Dali_Alice in Wonderland
All 12 of Salvador Dali’s Alice in Wonderland heliogravures – click the image for larger view.

The collection contains 12 heliogravures (a process of photographic engraving), one for each chapter and also includes a signed front-piece, created with basic linework rather than the bursts of colour common in the rest of the collection. Dali’s Alice in Wonderland masterpieces have been digitized by the William Bennett Gallery of New York, for all of us to enjoy!

Image Source

Lewis Caroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was first published in 1865 and tells the tale of young Alice as she traipses through the imaginative, frightening and disorienting world of Wonderland. There are many studies and theories regarding the subject matter of the tale, the representation of each individual character and the metaphorical meanings in the characters themselves, the dialogue and the music.

The Annotated Alice

‘The Annotated Alice’ by Martin Gardner (first published in 1960) is an amazing in depth exploration of all of these topics and also features the entire story in its original format, together with original illustrations. Gardner provides an intriguing analysis of the original text and themes represented in Lewis Caroll’s work. ‘The Annotated Alice’ is a lovely book that is sure to capture you in the depths of Wonderland!

Dali’s representation of the classic tale captures the eccentric and nonsensical world that is Wonderland. The illustrations make use of bold splashes of colour to create a dreamlike effect which is equally as disorienting as the tale itself!

What do you think of Dali’s take on the Alice in Wonderland characters? Which is your favourite? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!