"Cristo di San Giovanni della Croce" di Salvador Dalì "Cristo di San Giovanni della Croce" di Salvador Dalì

Dalì's Christ in Rome: 13th May opening for the pre-Jubilee exhibition in San Marcello al Corso

On Monday 13 May, at 6pm, at the church of San Marcello al Corso, in Rome, the much-anticipated exhibition entitled "Dalì's Christ in Rome" will open to visitors. This is the third exhibition of ‘The Heavens Opened’ series of artistic events, scheduled for the cultural journey towards the Holy Year. It can be visited, free, until 23 June 2024.

Salvador Dalì's famous painting, ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’ (1951), housed in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, will be exhibited for the first time alongside an artwork  closely linked to it, from which Dalì took inspiration for his masterpiece, namely the ‘relic drawing of the Crucified Christ’ (1542-1591) sketched by Saint John of the Cross himself, who according to tradition drew the image after a mystical revelation. This latter work is normally kept in the saint's reliquary at the Monasterio de la Encarnación in Ávila.

The two works on display have never been exhibited side by side, and now for the first time they can be admired together. The extraordinary opportunity of exhibiting the ink on paper sketch, was made possible by the generosity of the Monastery and Bishop Jesús Rico García of Avila.

In addition to its extraordinary artistic beauty, the theme of Christian Hope, which Dali's painting conveys, makes it particularly suitable in the context of the Jubilee. Hope emerges first of all from Christ, who is shown floating in the darkness, seen from above, from the viewpoint, as it were, of God the Father, crucified for the redemption of a world which, shown below, seems to be bathed in a luminous light of salvation.

Dalì, a spiritually restless artist, certain of the existence of God and fascinated by the beauty of Christ, certainly cannot be considered a prototype of traditional catholicity, but he remains an emblematic figure of 20th-century man, almost our contemporary, filled with a powerful nostalgia for God. The choice of the church of San Marcello al Corso as the venue for the exhibition, is not random, but is  linked to the history and significance of the Crucifix which is kept there. This connection between Dali's work and the historic Crucifix at San Marcello offers visitors a unique opportunity for reflection and prayer.

The exhibition of the famous painting ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’ marks the third ‘art and faith’ event of the ‘The Jubilee is Culture’ season, following the exhibitions of ‘El Greco in Rome’, in September and October 2023 in Sant' Agnese in Agone, which with its over 288,000 visitors in a month was enormously successful, and the ‘100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican’ exhibition, held between December 2023 and January 2024, which had over 280,000 visitors.

The inauguration on May 13th is open to the public and entry is free. The exhibition, from May 14th onwards, will be open to visitors every day from 8am to 8pm, at the church of San Marcello al Corso, in Rome’s Piazza San Marcello 5.