It is perhaps the most famous painting in Scotland. But fans of Salvador Dali’s iconic work, Christ of St John of the Cross, are advised to make the most of it before the artwork is loaned to two museums south of the border.
The painting will leave its home at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum in September to go on loan to the Royal Academy of Arts in the English capital, before returning north in summer 2018.
It will then be loaned to Auckland Castle in County Durham from autumn 2019 until spring 2020.
Painted in 1951 and purchased by the City of Glasgow in 1952, Christ of St John of the Cross continues to be one of the real draws for the million plus people who visit Kelvingrove Museum each year.
It will remain on show at Kelvingrove Museum for most of the school summer holiday period, before coming down in early August, in preparation for its move to the Royal Academy.
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.
Dalí/Duchamp is the first exhibition to throw light on the surprising relationship between the two artistic giants, father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and Surrealist Salvador Dalí. It will bring together over 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures and Duchamp’s ground-breaking assemblages and readymades, together with less familiar work. The focused exploration will offer fresh ways of looking at both figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history. Christ of Saint John of the Cross will be at the heart of this exhibition, central to its key themes, particularly myth, the relationship between science and religion, and perspective. It will join monumental artworks loaned from across the globe, including Figueres Spain, New York, Paris and London.
Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, said: “The iconic Christ of St John of the Cross will be a highlight of this summer’s Dalí/Duchamp exhibition at the RA in London and then the Dalí Museum in Florida. Showing this artwork in a new context and considering it in a way we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so, enables us to gain a new perspective on the inventive and intelligent man who created this Glasgow treasure, before it goes back on show at Kelvingrove in the summer of 2018.
“Glasgow’s art collection is considered one of the finest in Europe and loaning key pieces increases access to the works so that people across the country and indeed the world can enjoy them, bolstering our reputation.”