Lehrman Brides Room

Salvador Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989)
Born in Figueras, Spain 

Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel, 1968
Lithograph portfolio, selected images 

The series of graphic work was an assignment to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel. 

Dalí created a series of 25 mixed media paintings including gouache, watercolors and India ink on paper. They were reproduced as photolithographs and published in a limited edition presented in a folder with a letter of introduction by David Ben-Gurion, a key figure in the history of Israel. 

To illustrate the various meanings of the Hebrew world aliyah, which means literally “migration to the land of Israel,” the artist took inspiration from the Old Testament as well as contemporary history. Dalí depicted the vessel Eliahu Golomb, full of refugees from the concentration camps, setting sail to Israel in 1946, despite the prohibition imposed by Palestine under the British Mandate. He also portrays David Ben-Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence in 1948. 

As usual in Dalí’s work, the pieces also contain elements from his own iconography. This is the case with two lithographs that contain references to a major painting of that period, Tuna Fishing, an oil painting inspired by the Mediterranean coastal fishing practice which dates back to antiquity.