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Salvador Dali. Surrealist and classicist

Faberge Museum from April 1 until July 2, 2017 hosts exhibition of the artist’s masterpieces.

The exhibition of Dali’s art includes more than 150 paintings and graphic works, provided by the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation in Figueres (Catalonia, Spain) and other museum and private collections. The exhibition follows the artist’s creative journey, beginning with the surrealist works of the 1930s and concluding with his turn to themes of classical European art in the 1980s.

The earliest works that is exhibited are surrealist landscapes from 1934–1937. Dali creates empty Emporda landscapes and implants into them a variety of figures and elements. The enigmatic combinations recall dreams and visions, and perhaps disclose the content of the artist’s subconscious, which Dali has liberated from the burden of logic and reason and brought into the realm of painting.

The exhibition includes one of Dali’s most interesting works of that period – “Enigmatic Elements in a Landscape” (1934). A recent and unprecedentedly expensive acquisition of the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation, the work was purchased from a private collector in 2011.

In the beginning of the 1940s Dali breaks up with the surrealists and announces his return to classicism and comes to the defense of Renaissance values. In 1945 Dali created a series of illustrations for the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, one of the most famous figures of the Florentine Renaissance. He gives an open interpretation of Cellini’s text, creating the widest possible berth for his creative fantasies. These illustrations, done in watercolor and ink on paper, are shown at the exhibition at Faberge Museum.

Another major project of Dali’s from that time is his series of illustrations for Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy”, created by using various techniques – watercolor, gouache, sanguine and ink. Between 1959 and 1963, 100 of these were reproduced in photogravure. All 100 of the illustrations included in the final series, which have already become quite iconic, are on display at the exhibition.

The exhibition also includes canvases by Salvador Dali from the beginning of the 1980s dedicated to another great master of the Renaissance, Michelangelo Buonarroti. The death of Dali’s only and ardently loved wife and muse Gala made him contemplate life on the other side even more often. Dali created a whole series of works showing his interest in the theme of immortality and interpreting the classical images of Michelangelo – the famous piece “Geological Echo. La Pieta” (1982) and “Head, after Michelangelo's “Giuliano di Medici” (1982) are shown at the exhibition at Faberge Museum.

The exhibition will be held from April 1 until July 2, 2017.