Salvador Dalí, Spanish, 1904 - 1989
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Dalí's admiration for the horn-honking, trench-coated Harpo Marx, the second oldest and most charismatic of the Marx Brothers, led him to create this portrait of the sweet-natured comedian during a visit to Hollywood in February 1937. The drawing makes reference to an elaborate harp, assembled with barbed-wire strings and adorned with teaspoons and forks for tuning knobs, that Dalí had sent to Harpo as a Christmas present two months earlier. Harpo was so delighted with the strange musical instrument that he immediately sent Dalí a photograph of himself with bandaged fingers, thus pretending that he had unwittingly plucked the barbed-wire strings with his bare hands.