Christ of St John of the Cross

The strange title refers to Dali's principal inspiration for the painting - a pen and ink drawing made by the Spanish Carmelite friar who was canonised as St John of The Cross (1542-1591). The drawing intrigued Dali when he saw it preserved in the Convent at Avila, as it was made after the Saint had a vision in which he saw the Crucifixion as from above, looking down.

The Salvador Dali masterpiece Christ of St John of the Cross first went on show at Kelvingrove on 23 June 1952, and has ever since aroused admiration, criticism and controversy. The striking angle of the crucified Christ on the Cross, the eerie contrast of light and dark, and the magical and effortless surface effects all make an unforgettable impression on the viewer.

Dali proceeded to paint the Crucifixion set above the rocky harbour of his home village of Port Lligat in Spain, with the enigmatic addition of boats and figures copied from pictures by Velazquez and Le Nain. 

By Salvidor Dali