John Cooper Clark, punk poet, was the guest on Great Lives today (BBC Radio Four). Catholicism was discussed (both Dali and Clark were brought up thus). Also much focus on Christ of Saint John of the Cross, Dali’s crucifixion painting. As host Matthew Parris pointed out, nowhere else has there been a depiction of the crucifixion from such an unusual angle.
Says the BBC: “Dali’s surrealist peers were critical of his interest in religion. He took his inspiration for the painting from a drawing of the Crucifixion made by St John of the Cross, a 16th Century Spanish saint who had a vision in which he saw himself looking down on Christ on the cross from above.
Dali had a similar dream in which he saw Christ on the cross above the landscape of his home, in Port Lligat in Catalonia, northern Spain. After a second dream, he was inspired to paint his Christ without nails through his hands or a crown of thorns on his head. He wanted him to be beautiful.”