Hello Dali at the MFA

Spanish Surrealist Opens in July

By: - Jan 11, 2024

The outlandish and iconoclastic artist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) is famous for his bizarre imagery and unique Surrealist vision. He was, however, also deeply rooted in tradition. Dalí revered, studied and emulated his European predecessors from centuries past, embracing influences from Spain, the Low Countries and Italy throughout his long career. On July 6, 2024, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), opens Dalí: Disruption and Devotion, which juxtaposes nearly 30 paintings and prints on loan from the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida with European masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, including portraits, religious scenes and still-lifes by Velázquez, El Greco and Orazio Gentileschi, among others.

In addition to these illuminating pairings, the MFA’s first-ever Dalí exhibition features some of the artist’s most well-known works, such as Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1952–54), which revisits his single most famous picture, painted decades earlier. Other examples reveal optical illusions and double images—hallmarks of his Surrealism—while the monumental Ecumenical Council (1960) highlights the artist’s technical mastery. The exhibition presents a unique take on one of the most celebrated and avant-garde artists of the 20th century, placing him in dialogue with some of the great painters who came before him.