Salvador Dalí

Hans Christian Andersen tales – The Snow Queen

1966
lithograph on paper
Inventory number 1162
Dutch author Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) is renowned for publishing more than 150 literary fairy tales. In 1966 Salvador Dalí created 10 illustrations to celebrate some of the tales.

The Snow Queen was published in 1844 and imparts a story based on distortions between good and evil. The main characters are two children named Kai and Gerda. They are separated when the Snow Queen takes Kai, keeping him trapped until he solves a puzzle made from pieces of ice. Almost frozen, Kai is rescued by Gerda who frees him with the power of love. The Snow Queen uses snowflakes to protect her empire and Dalí presents these in his image. Snowflakes float down the Snow Queen’s gown and around her aura. The composition examines Dalí’s preoccupation with humanity’s struggle between the concept of going to heaven or hell following death through his use of dark and light colours, the inclusion of an angelic halo, and black line work.