The iconic Salvador Dali painting Christ of St John of the Cross is leaving its permanent home at Kelvingrove to go on loan. The painting, a highlight for the many hundreds of thousands who visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum each year, will come down on 28 June in preparation for its trip to The High Museum in Atlanta.
The painting will spend six months on loan in Atlanta as the highlight of an exhibition examining Dali’s later works. In the late 1930s Dalí underwent a radical change, in which he embraced Catholicism and developed the concept of nuclear mysticism. Comprising more than 40 paintings and a related group of drawings, prints and other Dalí ephemera, Salvador Dalí: The Late Work will explore the artist's enduring fascination with science, optical effects and illusionism.
It is the first time Christ of St John of the Cross has been sent out on loan since 2000 and the painting is due to return to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in February 2011 where it will be displayed in a new location. The painting was bought for Glasgow’s collection in the early 1950’s and was voted Scotland’s favourite painting in 2007 when it received 29 percent of the vote.
Councillor George Redmond, a spokesman for Glasgow Life, said: “The Iconic Christ of St John of the Cross is the key exhibit in this summer’s Dali exhibition at the High Museum of Atlanta. This loan agreement includes a commitment to find out much more about this Glasgow treasure and how important it was to Dali’s career before it returns early next year. In the meantime Kelvingrove will be showing Titian’s Diana and Actaeon throughout July and the hugely successful Glasgow Boys exhibition continues until the end of September.”
Christ of St John of the Cross has been one of the star attractions at Kelvingrove since its £35million refurbishment was completed in 2006. Since then Kelvingrove has become Scotland’s biggest attraction and is the most visited museum in Britain outside London. It remains one of the top 30 visited museums in the world and is free.