ST. PETERSBURG, FL.-Although he is best known for his Surrealist works, Salvador Dalí incorporated countless styles and themes into his work throughout his long and illustrious career. Many of the images he utilized in his mid and late career were religious in nature, and works featuring those themes are among the most popular of the Salvador Dalí Museums permanent collection. Now for the first time, the museum is presenting an exhibition of Dalís illustrations of selected passages from the Bible.
Commissioned by Dr. Giuseppe Albaretto, a friend of Salvador Dalí and collector of his work, as a way to encourage Dalí to re-examine his spirituality and draw him back into the Catholic Church, Dalís Biblia Sacra encompasses 105 paintings based on passages from the Latin Vulgate Bible. The original illustrations were completed between 1963 and 1964, with a combination of gouache, watercolor, ink and pastel and published in 1967. Verses from the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible accompany each illustration.
Raised by a Catholic mother and an atheist father, Dalí grew up among religious and moral conflicts, exacerbated by his fathers marriage to his deceased wifes sister, and the artists affair with Gala Eluard, a married woman. Although Dalí began incorporating religious and historical images into his compositions; had audiences with Popes Pius XII and John XXIII; and even renewed his marriage vows to Gala in a church ceremony, the artists search for faith was a life-long journey. Dalis illustrations for the bible are among his finest illustrated works.
Dalís Biblia Sacra, on display in the Raymond James Community Room Gallery, is curated by Dirk Armstrong, Assistant Curator. Fifty-three of the 105 works, will be on display through November 18, 2007.
The museum will present a lecture by Dr. Keith White from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida on the History of the Bible as Literature on Thursday, September 27 at 6 p.m. The lecture is free with paid admission ($5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays). Admission is always free for members and USF students.
The 2006-2007 season is made possible by Progress Energy, whose continued support for arts in the community provides a benchmark for corporate engagement. Progress Energy has been a generous supporter of the Salvador Dalí Museums educational programs and exhibitions since 2002.
The Salvador Dalí Museum, which holds the pre-eminent American collection of the artists work and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007, is sponsored in part by the Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Department, the City of St. Petersburg, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council. For more information about the Salvador Dalí Museum, please visit the Museum web site at www.SalvadorDaliMuseum.org or call (800) 442-3254.