Sunda Dalí: Book Transforming Itself into a Nude Woman, 1940. Oil on canvas, 16¼ x 20⅛; inches. Private collection.
This painting was hidden from public view from 1941 until 2004. As a result it is not included in Robert Descharnes catalogue raisonné or in any other exhibition prior to that point.
The open book in the foreground is in the process of transforming into a reclining nude woman. The knife separates the woman’s buttocks. A similar theme can be seen in the 1936 Autumn Cannibalism.
Sunday Dalí: The Gran Opera, 1957. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
The Gran Opera is part of the Seven Lively Arts series of paintings commissioned by Billy Rose, the American impresario. The first set was destroyed in a fire in Rose’s home where the paintings were being stored. Rose commissioned a second set from Dalí using the insurance money.