Salvador Dalí

Hans Christian Andersen tales – Prince and Princess

1966
lithograph on paper
Inventory number 1164
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 Hans Christian Andersen tales – Prince and Princess artwork is said to be based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. First published in 1835, the tale tells the story of a prince that is in search of the perfect princess. All the princesses that he has met do not meet his idea of perfection until one day he meets a young woman that turns up at his doorstep who has been drenched by the rain. Although she claims to be a princess, no one believes her because of her plain appearance. The princess is tested by the queen who places a pea under the mattress in the room where the princess is to sleep. The princess declares that she had a restless sleep when she wakes the next morning, due to a hard lump in the bed. The princess passes the test. The Princess and the Pea is a story about finding flawless love, which related to Dalí’s experience of meeting the love of his life in his wife Gala.