Few are the intellectual giants who qualify for recognition in Montegrappa’s most exclusive range of pens. The subjects of the writing instruments in the Genio Creativo series are as exceptional as the oysters that deliver perfect pearls, or the harvests that yield cases of Masseto.
With criteria so restrictive, Genio Creativo has honored to date only two individuals: the greatest of all luthiers, Antonio Stradivari (in 2007), and the remarkable painter and sculptor, Amedeo Modigliani (in 2008). Clearly, only an equally remarkable maestro could join such august company. The third ‘creative genius’ in Montegrappa’s roster of peerless artists is Salvador Dalí. A visionary who personified surrealism, he was also a writer, filmmaker and designer – truly the 20th Century equivalent of a ‘Renaissance Man’.
Blessed not only with technical skills and talent, but also with a unique visual sense, Dalí produced a number of significant works so original and startling that they have entered the global consciousness. Among the most famous are The Persistence of Memory, the universally familiar surrealistic landscape of soft, melting pocket watches painted in 1931, and his 1944 work, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. It is the latter painting that stimulated Montegrappa’s designers to devise a pen worthy of Dalí’s vision. It was the first of a number of works to contain a form which would become a recurring image in Dalí ‘s work, followed by The Temptation of St Anthony of 1946 and the 1961 jewelry piece, The Space Elephant. Elephants are also present in the garden of the Gala Dalí Castle, in Púbol, where the creatures, as Dalí states, ‘advance threateningly towards the castle.’ Dali took Bernini’s elephant and his inimitable sense of proportion stretched its legs to unreal lengths. Montegrappa’s designers have transformed these noble beasts, portrayed ‘with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire along with obelisks on their backs,’ into miniature manifestations of Dali’s art.
On the Dalí pen, the elephant embraces a barrel of Mediterranean blue celluloid for the silver edition, or in malachite green for the solid gold version. When the pen is opened, a quote from the autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, is inscribed on the inner barrel of the sterling silver version. Montegrappa has issued only 1000 sterling silver fountain pens and 989 rollerball pens, denoting 1989 – the year that Dalí died. 19 solid gold rollerball pens and 61 fountain pens represent the year he created the 1961 jewellery, The Space Elephant. The pens’ packaging, appropriately, in an egg-shaped container, was designed in recognition of another Dalíesque image. For the artist, the egg symbolized hope and love.