The piece was presented at a gallery in Hawaii, on the 118th anniversary of the master's birth. surrealist. Surprise birthday present? This piece was long believed to have been destroyed, yet it turned up in a collector's safe. Completed in 1979, a decade before Dalí's death, this piece portrays Jesus crucified over a nondescript body of water and is loosely based on a 1951 painting by the artist. Both are called Christ of Saint John of the Cross. The sculpture served as a model, from which hundreds of platinum, gold, silver and bronze editions were made. However, experts assumed that the original wax sculpture – a much more fragile object – had been destroyed.
“Harte International Galleries has sold a number of the Christ of St. John of the Cross bas-relief sculptures throughout our history, but no one thought the original work—done by a senior dalí in wax—still existedsaid gallery co-author and owner, Glenn Harte. The wax sculpture has only been in storage for the last four decades, in the vault of a private collector close to Dalí. The piece is still kept in the original plexiglass box that the artist designed for it.Harte and his team reached out to the collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, about purchasing an art book when they learned of the sculpture's existence late last year. They bought the work, gave it the title lost wax and now plan to exhibit it, for the first time since the death of Salvador dalí. As for value, the gallery has valued the piece at between $10 million and $20 million, although a representative said it is not for sale. Such an assessment implies that the sculpture is legitimate, of course. And according to Nicolas Descharnes, an expert on Salvador Dalí called by the gallery, it is. Descharnes - who is the son of Dalí's longtime secretary - authenticated the piece after consulting Carlos Evaristo, an expert in iconography. “Following the discovery of the lost wax, Harte Galleries met with Descharnes and Evaristo in Avila, Spain, which is where St. John of Spain, a 14th-century monk, was inspired to draw the first impression of Christ on the cross from a heavenly viewHarte recalled.“Evaristo was passionate that the sculpture was a three-dimensional representation of the evolution of Christ's crucifixion, and therefore given the same name as the most important religious work ever created by Dalí, Christ of St. John of the Cross, which was painted in 1951, 28 years before the molding of the sculpture”, said Hart.