Lost sculpture of Dalí from 40 years ago found in mansion in Hawaii

They called him “Salvador Dalí’s lost wax” because She was missing for more than 40 years.

In fact, many thought that the “Christ of Saint John of the Cross”, an original wax crucifix from which hundreds of versions have been made, had been destroyed.

However, during all this time, the bas-relief sculpture that the genius of Spanish surrealism molded with his own hands it was stored in a vault in Hawaii.

Dalí’s work, valued between $10 and $20 million dollars, it was found in the basement of the home of an American private collector who apparently bought it directly from the artist.

When some gallery owners in Hawaii learned of its existence, they decided to pay an undisclosed sum to buy the sculpture and display it in one of their rooms under a new name: “Lost wax”.

Harte International Galleries, the gallery located on the island of Maui, presented the piece on Wednesday, May 11, on the occasion of the 118th anniversary of the Catalan artist’s birth.

Dalí with his sculpture, “Christ of Saint John of the Cross”, also known as “the lost wax”. (Photo: HARTE INTERNATIONAL GALLERIES)

Although the Hawaiian museum had sold other versions of the “Christ of Saint John of the Cross” in the past, “nobody thought that the original work, made by master Dalí in wax, still existed”Glenn Harte, the gallery’s co-founder and director, said in a statement.

The gallery plans to “share ‘The Lost Wax’ with the public, so art and history enthusiasts can experience this remarkable work of art.”

According to the gallery owner, the collector from whom they bought the work kept the sculpture in the original Plexiglas box that Dalí had used to preserve its shape.

“Given the challenges of preserving the wax, few expected that the original mold would have survived,” considers the art magazine ArtNews.

Wax sculpture Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Dalí
The work was in the original Plexiglas box that Dalí used to preserve its shape. (Photo: HARTE INTERNATIONAL GALLERIES)

The 3D adaptation of “Dali’s greatest religious work”

Harte International Galleries worked with Dalí expert Nicolas Descharnes – whose father, Robert Descharnes, was Dalí’s secretary until his death – and iconographic expert Carlos Evaristo to authenticate the sculpture.

The wax piece was created in 1979 and served as a model for other editions of Dalí’s “Christ of Saint John of the Cross” in gold, silver, platinum and bronze.

In turn, the sculpture is the three dimensional rendering of an acclaimed painting by the Spanish artist, the eponymous work depicting Jesus on the cross floating in a twilight sky that, according to the Hawaiian gallery, is “the most important religious work ever created by Dalí.”

The painting “Christ of Saint John of the Cross” is from 1951 and is now in a museum in Scotland, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, in Glasgow.

Dali (1904 - 1989) with his painting Christ of Saint John on the Cross, November 17, 1951
Dali (1904 – 1989) in his studio with his painting “Christ of Saint John on the Cross”, on November 17, 1951. (Photo: DANIEL FARSON/GETTY IMAGES)

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