Private Collection, Europe (acquired directly from the artist) Private Collection, Europe (by descent from the above; sale: Christie's, London, 5th February 2015, lot 253) Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Augsburg, Römisches Museum, Dalí, Mara e Beppe, Bilder einer Freundschaft, 2000
Executed in 1970, Argos forms part of a series of works Dalí completed illustrating episodes from Homer’s Odyssey. The epic narrative poem charts Odysseus’ adventures as he struggles to return home after the Trojan War, a voyage which takes ten years to complete. As he is finally nearing his journey’s end, Odysseus becomes aware that his wife Penelope is being besieged by a multitude of determined suitors, all of whom would welcome his death in order to further their own ends. In order to enter his home unrecognised, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, so successfully that it is only Argos – his faithful dog – who recognises him. Having waited twenty years in order to see his master again, Argos expires only moments afterwards, content to have been able to welcome his master home one final time in the ultimate gesture of loyalty and devotion.
Executed on cream wove paper, not laid down and taped to the overmount along all four edges of the verso. The upper and right edges are deckled. There are fine lines of paint shrinkage to the areas of most thickly-applied pigment. There are two losses to the innermost circular areas of impasto at the upper part of the left edge and another to the lowermost area. This work is in overall good condition.
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