For the first time ever, Salvador Dali is being shown in Arlington! Salvador Dali: Visions of Eternity is Dali’s surreal interpretation of Dante Alighieri’s long narrative poem, The Divine Comedy. Showing now thru January 21, 2018, here are some cool things you may not have known about the exhibit, and why it’s so special (besides the fact it’s the creation of one of the top 20 artists of the 20th century).
- It’s based on a famous almost 700 -year-old allegory, The Divine Comedy
What is The Divine Comedy, may you ask? For those who aren’t familiar with the 13th century tale, it is an allegory about sin and redemption, leading readers, and in Dali’s case, patrons, through the Inferno, or hell, Purgatorio, or purgatory and Paradiso, which represents paradise or heaven.
- It features many of the trademark images Dali was very famous for
In this show you will get to see elongated limbs, melting faces and “disturbing unquiet.” To me, I really enjoyed how Dali’s exceptional attention to the sharpness in detail is present, to me, especially sharp in the Inferno illustrations.
- The series was bred from controversy
Back in 1957, Dali, a Spaniard, was approached by the Italian government to produce a special series of watercolors depicting The Divine Comedy for the country’s 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri to accompany a new edition of the book. The series was eventually put on display at the Palazzo Pallavicini in Rome, where the Italian public were absolutely seething at the fact that a Spanish artist was chosen over an Italian artist to celebrate their most important poet. Just one year later, the government changed and Dali’s project was dropped due to public outcry.
Unbothered and determined to finish the project, Dali approached a French publisher he had been working with on illustrations for Don Quixote, and was able to have the illustrations and water colors published in a new edition of The Divine Comedy, separate from the Italian reissue. Two engravers hand-carved 3,500 wood blocks necessary to reproduce the watercolors and, to the chagrin of the Italians, was pettily published in Italian. Ha!
- Each illustration has an accompanying quote from The Divine Comedy
If you’re not familiar with Dante’s extremely long poem, each of the 100 pieces has an accompanying piece of the epic to illustrate it better for new audiences.
Tickets to the event are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Children 12 and under are FREE!
Arlington Museum of Art
201 West Main Street
Arlington, Texas 76010