Nicolas and Olivier Descharnes have kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Gala Éluard (wife of the artist) Cécile Éluard (by descent from the above) Claire Vuilliamy (by descent from the above) Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 5th April 2017, lot 109 Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
This work is one of the very first portraits that Dalí painted of his future wife Gala; at the time she was still married to celebrated Surrealist poet Paul Eluard. Another painting of Gala exists in this fine, minute scale, currently on exhibition at the Musée aux Bruxelles.
The panel is sound. UV examination reveals a number of extremely fine, horizontal lines of sensitively-executed retouching, the longest of which is approximately 1.3cm-long, relating to some very fine lines of craquelure. There is some very minor abrasion to parts of the very extreme edges, only visible on very close inspection. This work is in overall good condition. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."