Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Death in Art depicted by Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali

Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali was produced in 1951 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Surrealism movement. The work can be viewed now at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

 

Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): death, spirituality
 

 

Christ of Saint John of the Cross is an oil painting produced in 1951 by Spanish painter Salvador Dali.

The Spanish government for the Christ of Saint John of the Cross was offered £80 million around $127 million USD but the government turned it down.

The painting name Christ of Saint John of the Cross was given to it because the design of this was based on a drawing by Spanish friar John of the Cross of 16th century. The composition of the image was also based on drawings of a triangle and a circle. The triangle was formed by Christ’s arms and the circle was depicted by Christ’s head. The circle was a symbol that represents Unity among others and seen as a reference to an allusion to Platonic and the triangle was seen as a reference to Trinity because triangle consists of three sides. The dimensions of the painting Christ of Saint John of the Cross were 205 cm × 116 cm or 80.7 in × 45.67 in.

While picturing Christ of Saint John of the Cross, Salvador Dali explained about the inspiration of the painting that in 1950 he had a cosmic dream where he saw the exact image of Christ in colors as drawn by him in this picture and it represented the nucleus of the atom. Later he regarded it as the unity of the universe who was none other than the Christ himself.

Russell Saunders posed as the model for this painting who was a Hollywood stuntman. He was suspended from an overhead gantry at a certain desired angle which created the exact image of the Christ hanging on the Cross. Dali was living at Port Lligat at the time of painting the figure of Christ. This painting created many controversies as to several critics commented on Salvador Dali painting that it was a stunt by him to be famous again as he was already a well-known surrealist artist.

The work can be viewed at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

 

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