Guardian Angel No. II (1976)
Ink on catalogue, “The Photographer & The Artist” Sidney Janis, (1976) , 6.5” x 8” (16.5cm x 20.3cm)
The spirit of the guardian angel theme, emblematic of the Klein Collection, is wonderfully captured in this very special drawing, showing a reverently kneeling angel holding an olive branch, a symbol of peace and hope. This thoughtful work was made in the 32-page catalogue, The Photographer & The Artist, opening 4-7pm, thru March 6, 1976 at Sidney Janis, 6 West 57th. New York. (Copyright 1976).
Dedicated to Dr. Klein, the work featured the words “guardian angel” in Dali’s handwriting, along with this important hand-written designation: “No. II. First = Gala”. This, of course, meant Dr. Klein was second only to Gala (Dali’s beloved wife) as his reigning guardian angel! This realization is more significant than one might first imagine. Clearly Dali was hyper-aware of his mortality, and was facing this inevitability when he first enlisted the intervention of Dr. Klein. Although the details are unknown, it is clear that Dr. Klein helped Dali get through and go beyond his medical concerns. Dali putting Dr. Klein second only to Gala as his “Guardian Angel” speaks volumes about the painter’s feelings for his physician.
It is also significant to note that one of Dali’s most important paintings in the 1952 work, “The Angel of Port Lligat”, which portrays his wife Gala as a winged angel along the shore of their Spanish Home. Moreover, one of the watercolors in the collection of Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, whose Foundation honored the work of Dr. Klein, was “Guardian Angel of Cadaques” of 1943.
This is the story of two great 20th century pioneers who came together in a remarkable union of medical and artistic genius: Dr. Edmund Klein and painter Salvador Dali. It resulted in a unique collection of original drawings that… have never before been seen by the art world.
Dali’s Guardian Angel:
Thirteen Dali drawings, plus a Dali sculpture, represent not only a veryspecial collection of art, but an intriguing page of art history.
The collection of Dr. Edmund Klein
Another work, referred to as Dali & DNA, featured three angelic figures-one holding a caduceus (medical staff), intended to represent Dr. Klein himself. Thus, from 1972 to the early 1980’s, Dr. Klein acquired an impressive collection of one-of-a-kind dedicatory drawings, most executed on blank pages of Dali books the artist would bring with him, create in, then give to his surrealist soul mate. Several were drawn in Dali’s sketchbook, another in a rare exhibition catalog. One Dali sculpture, called St. John the Baptist- fashioned directly from Dali’s hands, not merely produced by artisans working off a Dali design- is also part of the Klein collection, together with a unique authenticating statement written by Dali himself.