Biblia Sacra III

Biblia Sacra III
Alternative Title
Dalí Bible
Giuseppe Albaretto, a devout Roman Catholic, was concerned with the spiritual welfare of his close friend Salvador Dalí. Albaretto knew of Dalí’s deep spiritual feelings, but felt as though he was falling from the faith. In response to this, Albaretto commissioned Dalí to illustrate the Holy Bible hoping that it would bring him closer to God. Dalí agreed to the project and set to work.

The result was 105 watercolor paintings and subsequent 105 lithographs. It was apparent that Dalí threw himself into this project . He made a meticulous effort to ensure that the prints were identical to the watercolor illustrations he created. In a print catalog about Dalí, Albert Field commented that “the prints are so like the originals that the only sure way to distinguish one from the other was that the paint on the originals made the surface uneven” (69.3 Biblia Sacra; pg. 201- The official catalog of the graphic works of Salvador Dalí by Albert Field).

In order to keep the sanctity of the text, Albaretto, who had influential ties in the Church, sought and received the Vatican’s Seal of Approval. A white leather copy was sent to Pope Paul VI and Dalí later received a letter from the Secretary of the State of the Vatican thanking him for his work.

By the time of the original commission, Dalí had already illustrated other important books. In 1950 the Italian government commissioned Dalí to illustrate Dante’s Divine Comedy in order to celebrate the author’s 700th birthday. This idea infuriated many Italians, and the issue eventually reached the Itialian Parliament. The project was later cancelled. However, Dalí was already headfirst into the commission and offered the project to the French publisher Joseph Forêt, editor of important illustrated books who printed the book in French, Italian, and German.

This is the third volume.
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Fornés Eduard. 2016. Dalí Illustrator / of Lautréamont: Les Chants De Maldoror / Dante: the Divine Comedy / Holy Scripture: the Sacred Bible. Paris: Les Heures Claires.
Date Created
1967 AD
Salvador Dalí
Giuseppe Albaretto
Geographical Coverage
Temporal Coverage
20th Century
Collecting Areas
History of Writing Collection
Bibliographic Citation
Biblia Sacra vulgatæ editionis Sixti V pont. max. iussu recognita et Clementis VIII auctoritate edita imaginibus Salvatoris Dalí exornata III. Vol. 3. 5 vols. Milan: Rizzoli, 1967

Item sets