Thanks to a recent discovery of 14 previously unseen botanical watercolors painted in the 1960s, we are able to see a whole new side to the Surrealist master, Salvador Dali.
The rare artworks hit the bidding block at Bonhams in London this week where the bizarre watercolors -- playful appropriations of traditional lithograph studies -- fetched a total of £726,700, or a little over $1.1 million. Titles like "Hasty Plum" and "Penitent Peach" present some of the world's most expensive, slightly erotic depictions of fruit in the history of art.
The works, estimated to sell for between £40,000-70,000 ($62,000-108,000) each, attracted a bevy of international admirers who competed for the lots via phone, internet and on-site bidding wars, according to Art Daily.
Originally commissioned in 1969 by German publisher Jean-Paul Schneider, this was the first time the watercolors were available to the public since 2001, when the botanical studies briefly went on view at the Galerie Orangerie-Reinz in Cologne, Germany. The pieces had previously been in Schneider's private collection until the sale at Bonhams this week, when "a private European collector saw them there and fell in love," Bonhams' Department Director of Impressionist and Modern Art, William O'Reilly, told The Huffington Post in an e-mail.
Scroll through Dali's takes on 19th century scientific illustrations below and let us know your thoughts on the paintings in the comments.
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Cérises Pierrot (Pierrot Cherries) gouache over a 19th century botanical lithograph 47.5 x 33.5cm (18 11/16 x 13 3/16in). Executed in 1969
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Prunier hâtif (Hasty Plum) gouache over a 19th century botanical lithograph 48 x 34.3cm (18 7/8 x 13 1/2in). Executed in 1969
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Fruits troués (Pierced Fruit) gouache over a 19th century botanical lithograph, 48 x 32.8cm (18 7/8 x 12 15/16in). Executed in 1969
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Framboisier (Raspberry Bush) watercolour, gouache and 19th Century stipple engraving 47.5 x 33.2cm (18 11/16 x 13 1/16in). Executed in 1969
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Mûres sauvages (Wild Blackberries) watercolour, gouache and 19th Century stipple engraving 46.2 x 34.5cm (18 3/16 x 13 9/16in). Executed in 1970