Dali masterpiece goes out on loan

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The jewel in the crown of Kelvingrove Art Gallery’s formidable art collection is set to go out on loan after this summer for the best part of a year.

Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali will then leave Glasgow once more in early 2019. returning in spring 2020.

Painted in 1951 and purchased by the City of Glasgow in 1952, Christ of St John of the Cross continues to be one of the real draws for the million plus people who visit Kelvingrove Museum each year.

This will be the first time it has left the city since 2010, when it travelled to Atlanta in Georgia USA – our picture is a flashback, showing technicians preparing to move the painting.

It will remain on show at Kelvingrove Museum for most of the school summer holiday period, before coming down in early August, in preparation for its move to the Royal Academy, London.

The painting will be one of the star attractions of Dalí/Duchamp, opening on October 7.

The exhibition will then travel to The Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida from February to May 2018.

Dalí/Duchamp is the first exhibition to throw light on the surprising relationship between the two artistic giants, father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and Surrealist Salvador Dalí.

It will bring together over 60 works, including some of Dalí’s most inspired and technically accomplished paintings and sculptures and Duchamp’s ground-breaking assemblages and readymades, together with less familiar work.

The focused exploration will offer fresh ways of looking at both figures, radically revising their familiar places in art history.

Christ of Saint John of the Cross will be at the heart of this exhibition and central to its key themes, particularly myth, the relationship between science and religion, and perspective.

It will join monumental artworks loaned from across the globe, including Figueres Spain, New York, Paris and London.

Head of Glasgow Museums, Duncan Dornan, said: “The iconic Christ of St John of the Cross will be a highlight of this summer’s Dalí/Duchamp exhibition at the RA in London and then the Dalí Museum in Florida. Showing this artwork in a new context.

“Considering it in a way we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so, enables us to gain a new perspective on the inventive and intelligent man who created this Glasgow treasure, before it goes back on show at Kelvingrove in the summer of 2018.

“Glasgow’s art collection is considered one of the finest in Europe and loaning key pieces increases access to the works so that people across the country and indeed the world can enjoy them, bolstering our reputation.

“These partnerships also allow visitors to Kelvingrove to enjoy striking artworks from other important collections, such as the wonderful Raeburn painting, Boy and Rabbit, that will be on display in Kelvingrove this autumn.”

Tim Marlow, Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Arts, said: “We are delighted and grateful that Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has agreed to loan such a major work.

“Showing Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross together with seminal works by Duchamp will be one of the undoubted highlights of the Royal Academy’s forthcoming Dali/Duchamp exhibition.”

Henry Raeburn’s Boy and Rabbit, one of the Royal Academy’s most popular and moving paintings, will go on show at Kelvingrove Museum as part of a reciprocal loan agreement.

This remarkable portrait depicts the artist’s grandchild, Henry Raeburn Inglis, with his pet rabbit.

The boy was deaf and this painting is all about the senses, with touch being of particular importance in the relationship between this young boy and his pet.

The painting offers an inspiring story of triumph in the face of adversity, the boy going on to become an artist in his own right, no doubt inspired by his grandfather’s example.

Boy and Rabbit will hang in the portrait section of the Looking at Art gallery in Kelvingrove Museum from September 2017 until May 2018, where it is expected to be a real highlight with museum visitors, particularly children and families. A programme of exciting events, talks and workshops will be on offer around the different themes explored by the painting while it is on display.

Meanwhile an image of Christ of St John of the Cross will remain in the space at Kelvingrove Museum, alongside AV interpretation that explains Dalí’s inspiration for the work and how the painting came to be in Glasgow’s collection.