Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dali's Christ

 © Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums)

There are no nails
no bonds or blood to mar
perfection. Instead, the figure hangs
beautiful above the flat sea
watched – or ignored – by anachronistic fishermen,
brooding over the water yet
soaring out to embrace
the viewer in the small space
dwarfed by the cosmos that is
the final resting of the crucified.
The humanity is complete,
the only agony visible in the twist
of the arms, the taut sculpture
of tormented shoulders,
but this is God who leaves behind
the tawdry superscription that would
seek to limit him,
this is God who reaches out as
crucifix to dying lips
as benediction to the world
as light into the darkened sky –
stop. Look up. Can you not
feel the wind?

©C.M.M. 02/12

Written after my last visit to the Kelvingrove Art Galleries, when I saw the painting familiar to me for most of my life in a new setting - the fourth I've seen it in. I'm indebted to Glasgow Museums for permission to use the image.


  1. A painting familiar to me too, Christine, but only in reproduction. How wonderful to have seen it so often and to have been inspired to such telling words by it.

  2. I am not familiar with this work. It's very powerful and shows Dali at his best.

  3. Strange how I realised that I read that. Broad, with amazement - the reaction of a Glaswegian! I think West coast Scots feel very proprietorial about the painting, which the artist sold to the then curator of the Glasgow Art Galleries in, I think, 1952.

  4. And - very astutely - Dr Honeyman bought the copyright at the same time. His foresight was profitable for the Art Galleries and Museums.

  5. Where is it hung now Christine? - last time I saw it it was in a corridor at the top of a staircase - awful position with people trying to view it having to move to let people pass!

  6. Freda, it's in a small room at the corner of the main gallery; you go in one door and out of another to the right of the painting. I found it too small, as I recalled the impact of it hanging against its dark red curtain at the end of a gallery when I was small - but I wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that there is now glass in front of the paint, which wasn't there before it was vandalised.