A Bible with lithographs by the legendary Salvador Dali (original title Biblia Sacra) is in Ukraine for the first time.
The entire print run of this edition (a mere 500 copies) bears replicas of the surrealist prints by the famed artist. Ivan LOPATCHENKO, PR manager of the Kharkiv-based Family Leisure Club company, says: “This is a unique handmade tome. It has 900 pages and contains the text of the Old and New Testaments. Dali’s lithographs have been printed using the most precise cutting-edge technology of color transfer.
The cover is made of genuine leather. It is gilded and inlaid with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, amethysts, and malachites. Printers, binders, and jewelers from three countries – Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia – worked to produce this object of art.”
The reader will remember that Dali illustrated key biblical plots back in 1967, producing a total of 105 prints. They are one of the largest-scale works in his oeuvre.
He was commissioned by Giuseppe Albaretto, an Italian rich man whom Dali met in 1956 when Albaretto’s family was vacationing not far from the painter’s house in Costa Brava. Albaretto, a zealous Catholic, hoped that the work on biblical illustrations would bring Dali back to religion.
The artist undertook the ambitious project with enthusiasm. Surprisingly, Catholic hierarchs blessed the unexpected choice of the illustrator for the new edition of the Bible. In the interpretation of the great surrealist painter, the Book of Books reveals new senses and facets.
Dali used a mixed technique (watercolors, India ink, gouache, pastel, pencil) and lithography. The works measure around 48x35 centimeters.
A special set, gilded and set in white leather, was given as a present to the Pope. Dali’s Bible was published in Germany in the early 1990s, in the Czech Republic in 2011 and later in Slovakia.
Now copies of this Bible embellish the libraries of presidents and top clergy in these countries. Pope Benedict XVI also has one.
The Ukrainian edition of this unique Bible is a project administered by the Bertelsmann international media concern headquartered in Guetersloh, Germany.
A license to reproduce the illustrations was purchased directly from the owner of the lithographs – the Albaretto Italian collection house. The Ukrainian branch of Bertelsmann, the Family Leisure Club, has the exclusive right to publish a Russian-language edition of Dali’s Bible. Each copy will be produced on order; orders can be made at www.bibledali.com.ua.
The Ukrainian edition will be launched in Kyiv in October, as part of a large exhibition project that will for the first time feature ancient valuable editions from private collections of prominent Ukrainian collectors. Some 30 ancient masterpieces will be displayed in early October in the Spiritual Treasures of Ukraine Museum. The first copies will be donated to Ukraine’s leading museums and art patrons. The organizers say that part of the proceeds from the sale will go towards social and cultural projects and will also be used to support the publication of works by young authors.