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18• Monsieur Marquay Perfume bottle in its box dedicated by Salvador Dali to Joseph Foret

"They say I'm crazy, but Foret is even crazier than me, he undertakes books that nobody has tried or had the idea of doing. »

Salvador Dali (pour présenter Joseph Foret, le 22 février 1964 à New-York)

Box designed by Joseph Foret Art publisher 64, rue La Fayette Paris 9e, known for its edition of the Apocalypse (1). The handwritten dedication of Salvador Dali can be seen

Monsieur Marquay, presented in a bottle and box designed and illustrated by Salvador Dali for Marquay Parfumeur, 1953

Unique copy with the publisher's stamp, and dedication to the publisher by Salvador Dali in manuscript on one side of the jacket.

Provenance: Piece sold at auction after the ruin of Foret (2) circa 1970.

This anecdotal piece was made and dedicated during the first years of the Apocalypse while Dali and Foret were faced with the laborious study of the artistic realisation of the work.

The close complicity of the publisher Joseph Foret with Salvador Dali

Dali était très proche de Joseph Foret (1901-1991) qui a réussi l'exploit de réunir les plus grands acteurs du monde des arts, de la peinture et de la littérature pour concevoir une oeuvre éditoriale gigantesque sur un sujet dantesque et divin. Un travail qui les a rapproché pendant de longues années de travail collaboratif. Le livre a été achevé en 1961.

Joseph Foret and his edition of the Apocalypse

Dali was very close to Joseph Foret (1901-1991), who managed the feat of bringing together the greatest players in the world of art, painting and literature to conceive a gigantic editorial work on a Dantesque and divine subject. A work that brought them together during several years of collaborative work. Le livre a été achevé en 1961.

(1) It's an avalanche of record numbers that surrounds the Apocalypse, a book-monument conceived at the end of the 1950s by Joseph Foret.... The work, in any case, emanates an emotion of incredible intensity, born of the diversity of artistic sensibilities that it juxtaposes. An aesthetic abundance wanted by Foret. ... Orphan at 6 years old, starting from nothing and "mounted" in Paris, he meets the greatest: Picasso, Chagall, Dali. A wonder. One night in 1958 - a night of ecstasy? - Foret sets himself a challenge: to create a unique work, the work of his life. At the age of 57, he becomes the project manager... Despite the refusals of Picasso, Chagall and Mauriac, the company takes shape.

To the painters is entrusted the creation of three illustrations each one corresponding to the various contemporary currents. Buffet representing figurative art, Dali surrealism, Zadkine cubism, Foujita Japanese art, Mathieu lyrical abstraction, Léonor Fini lyrical art and Trémois hyperrealism.

The writers - Cocteau, Rostand, Rops, Giono, Cioran, Guitton - are entrusted with the task of writing in their own register, reflections and inspirations on the apocalypse of our time. All in all, a striking rendering, with, like a powerfully rhythmic text-image phrasing, which is accompanied by the text of Saint John, translated by R. P. Boismard, from the biblical school of Jerusalem, and calligraphed by Micheline Nicolas. "More than four thousand hours of gilding work to produce titles, lettering and highlights of the gold illustrations," comments Karoutzos. 

A unique book, of all records, the largest (210 kg) and the most expensive (estimated at 100 million francs in 1961, 200 million in 1963...) made on a single sheet of paper from the Moulins Richard de Bas which can be unfolded over 150 metres in length.


Dali and the Apocalypse. First visitor to the International Book Art and Bibliophily Fair (1959). Salvador Dali came in person. The master had to present the well-known book he had been working on for a long time : The Apocalypse, the most expensive and heaviest book

in the world.

The cover of the book is illustrated by Dali's sculpture, an impressive inlaid bronze door, weighing 150 kilos and representing the apocalyptic outpouring. To achieve it, Dali is said to have burst with an axe a wax plate in which he drowned needles, nails, shells, precious stones and also gold knives and forks. For, according to the master, "the Apocalypse can be eaten like cheese, cooked to perfection". 

Completed in 1961, the work travels around the world. During an exhibition in the Vatican, throne room, Pope John XXIII declared that it must be "seen by the crowds". This prophecy was largely fulfilled: until the mid-1970s, more than 140 exhibitions were devoted to it, and 7 million visitors attended. The Apocalypse is then at its zenith. Before succumbing to oblivion, to experience a desert crossing marked successively by (2) the ruin of Foret, the release of its blockbuster, ....

after Patrimoine by Séverine Dieuze L'express March 22, 2004


" Représentation du dandy à l'image de Fred Aster " (L'art du Parfum C.M. Lefkowith, 1994)

Museum: Museum of Perfume - Principality of Andorra (undesigned copy)


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