CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS

by

SALVADOR DALI


    Christ of Saint John of the Cross is a limited edition hand signed serigraph

    Numbered 265 out of an edition of 350
    The number on the piece more exactly is CCLXV/CCCL

    The image measures 14 x 23 inches and framed the piece is 28 x 38 inches


    By far the most popular of all Dali’s religious works is his Christ of Saint John of the Cross,
    whose figure dominates the Bay of Port Lligat. The painting was inspired by a drawing,
    preserved in the Convent of the Incarnation in Avila, Spain, and done by Saint John of the
    Cross himself after he had seen this vision of Christ during ecstasy.  The people beside the
    boat are derived from a picture by Le Nain and from drawing by Velázquez for The Surrender
    of Breda.  At the bottom of his studies for the Christ, Dali wrote: "In the first place, in 1950, I
    had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in color and which in my dream represented the
    ‘nucleus of the atom’. This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the
    very unity of the universe’, the Christ ! In the second place, when thanks to the instructions of
    Father Bruno, a Carmelite, I saw the Christ drawn by Saint John of the Cross, I worked out
    geometrically a triangle and a circle, which ‘aesthetically’ summarized all my previous
    experiments, and I inscribed my Christ in this triangle." This work was regarded as banal by
    an important art critic when it was first exhibited in London. Nevertheless, several years later,
    it was slashed by a fanatic while was hanging in the Glasgow Museum, proof of its astonishing
    effect on people. Dali relates that, when he was finishing the picture at the end of autumn in
    1951, it was so cold in the house in Port Lligat that Gala abruptly decided to have central
    heating installed.  He remembers the moments of terror through which he then lived, fearing for
    his canvas on which the paint was still wet, with all the dust stirred up by the workmen: "We tool
    it from the studio to the bedroom so that I could continue to paint, covered with white sheet
    which dare not touch the surface of the oil. I said that I didn’t believe I could do my Christ again
    if any accident were to befall it. It was true ceremonial anguish. In ten days the central heating
    was installed and I was able to finish the picture in order to take it to London, where it was
    shown for the first time at the Lefevre Gallery." When it was at the Biennial of Art in Madrid,
    along with other works of the painter, General Franco asked that two of the oils of the master
    of Figueras be brought to the palace of El Prado - Basket of Bread and Christ of Saint John of
    the Cross.


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Salvador Dali - CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS
Salvador Dali - CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS framed