2 paintings given to Argentine countess from Salvador Dali himself in the 1930s up for auction

PHOTO: Salvadore Dalis "Maison pour erotomane" is displayed for the press before an auction dedicated to Impressionist artworks at Sothebys on Feb. 22, 2018 in London.Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Salvadore Dali's "Maison pour erotomane" is displayed for the press before an auction dedicated to Impressionist artworks at Sotheby's on Feb. 22, 2018 in London.

Two rare Salvador Dali paintings are being put up for auction for the first time since the 1930s, when Dali himself gave them to an Argentine countess.

The pieces have been in the same "prominent" family ever since, according to Sotheby's, the auction house presiding over the sale.

Dali painted both "Gradiva" and "Maison pour erotomane" around 1931 and 1932, respectively, during the height of the surrealism movement. The first depicts a semi-nude woman representing the mythical figure of the same name, while the second features a Catalan landscape in a dream-like scene, according to Sotheby's.

The noblewoman who acquired them, Maria de las Mercedes Adela Atucha y Llavallol -- or Countess "Tota" Cuevas de Vera by marriage -- met Dali several artists like Dali and Pablo Picasso through family friends.

PHOTO: Argentina Countess and ranch owner Tota Cuevas de Vera poses for a picture on the porch of her home, circa 1939. The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Argentina Countess and ranch owner Tota Cuevas de Vera poses for a picture on the porch of her home, circa 1939.

The oil paintings will lead the Surrealist Art Evening Sale at Sotheby's London on Wednesday. They are both expected to sell for up to $2.5 million.

The auction will feature additional works from Dali and from several of the surrealist movement's key figures, including René Magritte, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Yves Tanguy.

The next day, Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art day sale will feature several of Picasso's works, including an early drawing "Jeune fille nue de profil," which has been auctioned before.

PHOTO: Pablo Picassos Le Matador is put on display before an auction dedicated to Impressionist artworks at Sothebys on Feb. 22, 2018 in London. Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Pablo Picasso's "Le Matador" is put on display before an auction dedicated to Impressionist artworks at Sotheby's on Feb. 22, 2018 in London.
PHOTO: Sothebys employees hold up Pablo Picasso 1937 Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee, at Sothebys auction house in London, Feb. 22, 2018. Frank Augstein/AP
Sotheby's employees hold up Pablo Picasso 1937 "Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee," at Sotheby's auction house in London, Feb. 22, 2018.