Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Salvador Dalí 1951, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
At the start of May this year (2017) I visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgowm, there are many great works of art there, including a full collection of works by the Glasgow boys group of artists, I will share some of their paintings very soon.
One of the most famous works of art in the Gallery is “Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Salvador Dalí painted in 1951”, the painting has its own viewing room with subdued lighting and a set of seats, so you can spend sometime viewing this amazing work of art by Dali. It was while in this room that I captured the above image of the painting.
There is something deep and spiritually moving about this painting even if your not a believer in its subject matter.
Here are some details :
Christ of Saint John of the Cross is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.
The painting is known as the Christ of Saint John of the Cross, because its design is based on a drawing by the 16th-century Spanish friar John of the Cross. The composition of Christ is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity, and the circle may be an allusion to Platonic thought. The circle represents Unity: all things do exist in the “three” but in the four, merry they be.
On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí explained its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in colour and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe,’ the Christ!”
In order to create the figure of Christ, Dalí had Hollywood stuntman Russell Saunders suspended from an overhead gantry, so he could see how the body would appear from the desired angle  and also envisage the pull of gravity on the human body. The depicted body of water is the bay of Port Lligat, Dalí’s residence at the time of the painting.
The painting and intellectual property rights were acquired for Glasgow Corporation in the early 1950s by Tom Honeyman, then the Director of Glasgow Museums. Honeyman bought the painting for £8,200, a price considered high at the time although it was less than the £12,000 catalogue price, and included the copyright, which has earned Glasgow Museums back the original cost many times over.
The purchase was controversial and a petition against it, arguing that the money should be spent on exhibition space for local artists, was presented to the City Council by students at Glasgow School of Art. The controversy caused Honeyman and Dalí to become friends, corresponding with each other for many years after the original acquisition.
The painting first went on display at the city’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 23 June 1952. In 1961 a visitor attacked the painting with a stone and tore the canvas with his hands. It was successfully restored over several months by conservators at Kelvingrove and returned to public display. In 1993, the painting was moved to the city’s St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, but returned to Kelvingrove for its reopening in July 2006. It won a poll to decide Scotland’s favourite painting in 2006, with 29% of the vote.
It is said that the Spanish government offered £80 million ($127 million USD) for the painting.
This painting has continued to generate controversy. At the time of its purchase by Honeyman, the verdict by Modern Art critics was that producing such a traditional painting was a stunt by an artist already famous for his surrealist art. In 2009 The Guardian art critic, Jonathan Jones, described it as “kitsch and lurid,” but noted that the painting was “for better or worse, probably the most enduring vision of the crucifixion painted in the 20th century.”
In May 2013, in BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives, British poet John Cooper Clarke described this image as being utterly different from any other image of the crucifixion, as the angle of view conveys the hanging pain of this method of execution, whilst hiding the ordinarily clichéd facial expressions normally seen in such depictions.
Christian Reid Oct 2014
Axels and chains and
Feet and brains
It’s the bicycle beats
And the trees and the streets
Join the lines in the sidewalk
As I ride and I talk
“Breathe in,” &
“Breathe out,” —
Burning and churning to the
Grooves and the cracks
Red light’s the only chance to relax
Racing the bus and flashing a grin
To the sorry folks trapping themselves therein
Ecstasy building with each revolution
Wiping my sweat away, tasting pollution
Grinding and winding a path on my bike
Where cars and pedestrians hate me alike
The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.
The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic Quire and east end and Early English North and South transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 52 feet (16 m) high. The south transept contains a rose window, while the West Window contains a heart-shaped design colloquially known as ‘The Heart of Yorkshire’.
York Minster , Inside out …..
Held every May Bank Holiday in Yorkshire, the Skipton Waterway Festival is a 3 day canal boat event which runs every year on the 1st May day Bank holiday weekend. It is an event which is a non-profit making Festival, which solely relies on donations and sponsorship from the local community. they are also organized by volunteers from Pennine Cruisers and the local community, without these people the event would not run as smoothly as it does each year.
The 1st Skipton Waterway Festival was held in 2001 and they have gone on to grow more and more each year. The festival was originally organized by CRT (British Waterways then) and Pennine Cruisers for around 5 years, however Pennine Cruisers then took on the event, as they saw how much the local boaters and town enjoyed it. As Pennine Cruisers look forward to this event each year, it is part of their year now, as they have organized it for a long time, they say that they would be a little lost without it.
As an event they attract around 8, 000 – 10,000 visitors each year over the full 3 days. It is noticed when people/families visit the festival each and every year. They put on various entertainment, stalls from craft to charity stalls, children’s activities and an array of food/concession stalls. There is something for almost everyone.
This years Festival was great to visit with many Craft stalls and lots of Local history with the new presentation of an internet based database of all the families who worked and still work on the Leeds and Liverpool canal from the first times it was open for use.
At the start of April this year I promised myself that I would go and visit some Art Gallery’s and cultural museums one of these vists was to The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum and art gallery in located in Glasgow, Scotland. It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.
The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style in the 1920s, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.
Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave
Just one of the many installations the Gallery has to offer is by Artist Sophie Cave …
If you Ever had that feeling that a hundred set of eyes are watching you then Sophie Cave sculptures turn the feeling into a reality!
The Floating Heads installation located in one of the open public areas in the Gallery, literally turn your head around the moment you first see this work. Sophie Cave has created over 50 sculptures of heads, each displaying different emotions including laughter and despair. The heads are completely white, but are lit so that their expressions are accentuated, which gives the installation a somewhat eerie feel. Since the installation is hung over the foyer, it is one of the first things youwill see when they enter the museum.
Its a great installation as it truly makes you stop and look at each of the heads as they slowly move around to face your direction, I relay enjoyed this work 🙂 🙂
Kelvingrove, Art Gallery, Glasgow
The Lighthouse Museum, Scotland’s Center for Design and Architecture, is a visitor center, exhibition space and events venue situated in the heart of Glasgow, just off the Style Mile. The Lighthouse acts as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events.
The Museum building formerly housed the Glasgow Herald, it was the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and is the perfect place to begin a Mackintosh tour of Glasgow, as it has a permanent exhibition of his work.
We visited both the viewing tower and all the great exhibitions three weeks ago, it was one of the highlights of our time in this great Scottish city…..
These images show the spiral staircase that accesses the viewing tower and a view from each of the platforms at the top.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the world, the Clyde was dredged to allow ships to sail all the way to Glasgow, rather than stopping at Port Glasgow which had previously been the case. As well as turning Glasgow into an important port, it transformed the city from one of trade to one of manufacturing, specifically steel work and shipbuilding. As factories and shipyards sprung up, the city’s population boomed to a breaking point of over one million (almost double the current number), and one of first cities in Europe to do so.
The Clyde’s reputation and success continued until World War II, when several of the shipyards were struck by the Luftwaffe during The Blitz. This, coupled with post-war competition from other nations, saw the decline of shipbuilding in Glasgow. In present day, the only two surviving yards, Yarrow and Fairfields, are both owned and operated by BAE Systems.
However, this decade has brought with it renewed investment in the waterway and its banks, thanks to the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration project. One of the prime examples is the Glasgow Digital Media Quater located at Pacific Quay; it is new home of the television companies BBC and STV, as well as other media companies. Next door to this, directly across from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), is the Glasgow Science Centre, IMAX Cinema AND Glasgow Tower. Further along, in the neighbouring town of Renfrew, lies the Braehead Shopping Centre and Xscape Leisure Centre, directly across from the King George V Docks. Next to the shopping centre is the newest of Glasgow’s parks, the Clyde View Park. It features statues by artist Kenny Munro, which he designed with the help and input of Renfrewshire’s schoolchildren.
Of course, a river would not be so handy if there were not bridges to cross the tremendous flowing waters. Thankfully, Glasgow has a staggering 21 bridges crossing the Clyde. These are a mixture of road, rail and footbridges that speak volumes about the history of the city, from their names and design to the type of transport they were designed for. In addition to these there is the Clyde Tunnel, which delves under the river connecting Govan with Scotstoun and Partick.
The Bridges can all be seen as part of the Clyde Heritage Trail. For more information and articles about the River Clyde and her features, please visit the Clyde Waterfront Heritage website, and also the Riverside Museum.
1. Millennium Bridge (2002)
2. Bells Bridge (1989)
3. Clyde Arc / The Squinty Bridge (2006)
4. Kingston Bridge (1970)
5. Tradeston Footbridge (2008)
6. George V Bridge (1929)
7. 2nd Caledonian Railway Bridge (1905)
8. 1st Caledonian Railway Bridge (1878)
9. Glasgow Bridge (1899)
10. South Portland Street Suspension Bridge (1853)
11. Victoria Bridge (1854)
12. The City Union Railway Bridge (1899)
13. Albert Bridge (1871)
14. Tidal Weir and Pipe Bridge (1901 (rebuilt 1949)
15. St. Andrew’s Suspension Bridge (1856)
16. King’s Bridge (1933)
17. Polmadic Bridge (1955)
18. Rutherglen Bridge (1896)
19. 1st Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1861)
20. 2nd Dalmarnock Railway Bridge (1897)
21. Dalmarnock Bridge (1897)
We just returned from a great long weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, visiting many of the city’s great attractions. Glasgow has always been one of my most loves European cities with its great river and surrounding mountains, stunning Victorian architecture including central station and its many hotels and city blocks.
What a wonderful weekend, the weather was perfect for the two full days, blue blue sky’s and it was warm for March 🙂 🙂
The Plaza De Espana is simply one of the most amazing locations to visit in Seville, the images here are taken from our visit at the end of last month (January 2017). It was late afternoon by the time we arrived, having already visited many of the cities great locations and the Plaza was the perfect way to end a great day.
Here are some basic details, including the buildings amazing history …
The Plaza de España
(“Spain Square”, in English) is a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa (Maria Luisa Park), in Seville, Spain, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture.
The Plaza de España, designed by Aníbal González, was a principal building built on the Maria Luisa Park’s edge to showcase Spain’s industry and technology exhibits. González combined a mix of 1920s Art Deco and “mock Mudejar”, and Neo-Mudéjar styles. The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous bridges representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. In the center is the Vicente Traver fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain.
Today the Plaza de España mainly consists of Government buildings. The central government departments, with sensitive adaptive redesign, are located within it. The Plaza’s tiled Alcoves of the Provinces are backdrops for visitors portrait photographs, taken in their own home province’s alcove. Towards the end of the park, the grandest mansions from the fair have been adapted as museums. The farthest contains the city’s archaeology collections. The main exhibits are Roman mosaics and artefacts from nearby Italica.
The Plaza de España has been used as a filming location, including scenes for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. The building was used as a location in the Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) — in which it featured in exterior shots of the City of Theed on the Planet Naboo. It also featured in the 2012 film The Dictator.
I have posted a couple of times since the new year, relating to the Manchester Born artists Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976) he was born in Old Trafford, Salford and studied in the evening at Manchester Municipal College of Art. He was a man who rarely left the North West, finding his inspiration in the landscape of North Wales and Lancashire, and in the streets of Manchester and around Salford.
Possible this painting “Industrial City” is one of my favorite cityscapes that Lowry produced, I say possibly because he was prolific in this area of his portfolio and I love so much of his inner city works.
I grow up in Altrincham, a town only a few miles away from city center Manchester and while I missed this core era that Lowry was working in, I have lots of memories of the city looking like it does in these paintings.
During my early years I can remember these streets and factories being slowly torn down and replaced with office blocks along with new more modern houses. Its hard to imagine these days what life was like for a lot of the people captures in Lowry’s drawings and painting, living and working within the same mile, most people hardly traveling very far outside their surroundings.
Lowry restricted his palette to black, vermillion, Prussian blue, yellow ochre and flake white. Whilst there is a naivety in his rendition, he deftly caught the hustle and bustle of men, women and dogs on the move against a background of terraced houses, mills and factories.
The things I love most about this painting , well firstly its angle of view, Lowry paints as if he was standing on top a hill overlooking the homes and industry below. I also like very much the distance in this painting, a distance that few of the people captured in it could experience themselves at street level. To me this distance captures the expanse of the city, each small area making up the whole, yet enclosing people within their own spaces of home and work and life.
City life itself is captured here, every element of the community (Home, work, shops, play, chat, church and industrial dirt – so much of it!).
In the distance through the city smog you can just make out the hills and moors, fresh air and spaces that so clearly is just out of reach.
I feel this painting is LS Lowry at his very best, some artists go in very close with life in order to capture and reflect on it , Lowry pulls back in his view and adds in so many elements that you have to spend time exploring his work, in order for you to see the full message and story he want you to see.
This was life in a Northern English town, lowry painted it and also lived it with the people he captured!!!!