“CRISTO DE mountain JUAN DE LA CRUZ”, by SALVADOR DALI, ‘Scotland’s favourite Painting’: Catalan Surrealist maestro was influenced by a crucifixion map out by mystic 16th century Spanish friar Saint man of theCrossPublished December 15, 2012 by goyodelarosa
Christ that Saint man of the Cross
Salvador Dalí
Oil top top canvas
205 cm × 116 cm (80.7 in × 45.67 in)
Kelvingrove art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Christ the Saint john of the Cross is a paint by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. The depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a human body of water finish with a boat and also fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and also a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, the was convinced by a dream that these attributes would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the prestige of portraying Christ in the excessive angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

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Crucifixion sketch by St. Man of the Cross. Dali was inspired by this drawing.

The painting is well-known as the “Christ the Saint man of the Cross,” due to the fact that its design is based upon a illustration by the 16th century Spanish friar Saint man of the Cross. The ingredient of Christ is additionally based ~ above a triangle and also circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the one is created by Christ’s head). The triangle, due to the fact that it has three sides, deserve to be viewed as a referral to the Trinity, and also the circle might be one allusion come Platonic thought. The circle to represent Unity: every things carry out exist in the ‘three’ but in the four, merry they be.<1>


On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí defined its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I witnessed this photo in colour and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus the the atom.’ This nucleus later on took top top a metaphysical sense; I thought about it ‘the really unity that the universe,’ the Christ!”<2>

In stimulate to create the number of Christ, Dali had Hollywood stuntman Russell Saunders suspended indigenous an overhead gantry, therefore he could see exactly how the body would show up from the wanted angle.<3>


The purchase was controversial. A petition against the purchase, arguing that the money need to be invested on exhibition an are for local artists, to be presented to the City council by students in ~ Glasgow institution of Art.<5> The dispute caused Honeyman and Dali to come to be friends, corresponding with each various other for countless years ~ the initial events.<3>

The painting very first went on display at the city’s Kelvingrove arts Gallery and Museum on 23 June 1952. In 1961, a visitor struck the painting with a stone and tore the canvas with his hands. It to be successfully revitalized over several months by conservators at Kelvingrove and returned come public display.<6> In 1993, the paint was relocated to the city’s St Mungo Museum of spiritual Life and Art, yet returned to Kelvingrove because that its reopening in July 2006. It won a poll come decide Scotland‘s favourite painting in 2006, through 29% of the vote.<7>

Critical reception

The paint has ongoing to create controversy. At the moment of its acquisition by Honeyman, the verdict by modern-day Art doubters was that creating such a timeless painting was a stunt by an artist currently famous because that his surrealist art.

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<4> In 2009 the Guardian art critic, Jonathan Jones, described it together “kitsch and lurid,” but provided that the paint was “for better or worse, probably the many enduring vision the the crucifixion painted in the 20th century.”<8>

Spanish offer

The Spanish government is stated to have readily available £80 million ($127 million USD) for the painting, however the market was turned down.<9>