Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross to go on tour

I have a vague recollection of Salvador Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross, going on tour some years ago, but have no notes or mentions of thus from the time, but also from my own less-than-perfect memory, I also seem to have a definite note that the news of the time carried a warning to visitors that they were not viewing the original painting, but a copy commissioned to ensure its absence was not too hard to bear. (I can’t dig up an online note to confirm this, but I doubt I could have imagined both memories. Maybe someone reading this can confirm.)

Purely as a work of art, it is a most impressive sight, and one I was surprised to learn was owned by Glasgow’s Kelvingrove.

(The embedded slideshow below is supposed to be WordPress compatible, but the buttons don’t seem to work – try the source.)

Painted in 1951 and purchased by the City of Glasgow in 1952, it has become one of the best-loved in the entire collection, amongst Glaswegians and visitors.​

Dali’s creation was one of the more controversial purchases made by Dr Tom Honeyman, then Director of Glasgow Museums. It is now widely recognised that Dr Honeyman made a very astute decision. Not only did he secure the painting for less than the catalogue price, that price included the copyright, giving Glasgow a never-ending source of revenue from its investment

However, the painting was not well-received by everyone – students from Glasgow School of Art argued that the money could have been used to purchase work from Glaswegian or Scottish artists.

But, after going on display at Kelvingrove in 1952, the work attracted visitors in their droves as the gallery now attracts millions of visitors per year.

Sadly, the painting’s presence has not been without drama, and it has been damaged twice, most famously when the canvas was badly torn by a visitor wielding a sharp stone. Fortunately, the skilled conservators at Kelvingrove were able to repair the painting and the damage is barely visible.


September 2017 will see the painting go on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in London, returning in summer 2018.

Glaswegians, and anyone who visits Kelvingrove, might care to take note that while we can wander in for a look as often as we like, with our Scottish National Museums offering Free Admission – ONE visit to the RA will set visitors back a massive £15.50 (£14 if you withhold the donation).

The painting will be one of the star attractions of Dalí/Duchamp, opening on 7 October. The exhibition will then travel to The Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida from February to May 2018.

I had a look at the Dalí Museum – tickets there are $24.

It will then go on loan to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.

Via: Salvador Dali painting to leave Glasgow on loan


May 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment


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