© Salvador Dalí / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Salvador Dalí: The Bible

Salvador Dalí is best known for his hallucinatory Surrealist art—melting clocks, Freudian snails, and swarming ants contribute to his fantastical imagery. Often overlooked in the artist’s catalog is his return to Biblical imagery, which he embraced in 1942 after announcing his return to the Catholic faith and a subsequent shift toward a traditional style of painting. Though Dalí was raised Catholic in Catalonia, Spain, he renounced the religion during his creative embrace of Surrealism in the 1920s and ’30s, preferring to draw upon mysticism found in Freudian psychology and Einstein’s theory of relativity. But Dalí later found himself drawn back to the Catholic faith through the growing field of nuclear physics, believing advances in the field provided proof of God’s existence. Dalí created monumental versions of major Biblical scenes, including Crucifixion (1954) and The Sacrament of the Last Supper (1955), and even produced an illustrated version of the Bible in 1964 called Biblia Sacra. Today, collectors can find limited edition etchings, lithographs, and works on paper that showcase Dalí’s takes on iconic scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

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