This past Sunday, a robbery was reported at the apartment of Montserrat Herrera Coromines in Barcelona’s Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighborhood. Among the items stolen were two original works by Salvador Dalí. The stolen works, two of a series of four, are charcoal-on-paper drawings created in 1922 when Dalí was 18-years-old. Ms. Herrera Coromines is the granddaughter of Pere Coromines, Dalí’s friend who commissioned the drawings as illustrations for a book he wrote. While the book was never published, the pictures remained in the possession of the Coromines family, only being put on display once in 2004 at the Museu de L’Empordà.
Each drawing is estimated to be worth €300,000. Because they were created so early in Dalí’s artistic life, many may not recognize them as having been made by him. He wouldn’t start experimenting with surrealism until the late 1920s, so the early drawings show scenes of rural Catalan life like a group of peasants or a country dance.
The historic patrimony unit of the Catalan police was soon called in to investigate, but so far, it is unknown who stole the works. Coincidentally, the robbery occurred on the thirty-third anniversary of Dalí’s death. So, we might have some art historians working as thieves somewhere in Barcelona. That’s a much better story than it just being a coincidence.