Salvador Dalí’s Santiago El Grande (1957) is a monumental canvas, measuring in at 13-feet-high. In fact, it’s so big – we could only fit 1% on the banner above!
This triumphant rendering of Saint James the Great (Santiago El Grande in Spanish) presents the patron saint of Spain rising from the sea astride a white stallion and brandishing an oversized crucifix. An atomic explosion bursting from the four petals of a jasmine flower – a symbol of purity and one of the artist’s favorite aromas (a personal reference amidst an iconography that is otherwise rooted in Spanish tradition) – raises the triumphant steed toward heaven. There are numerous other elements in the painting which reinforce the narratives of religiosity and nationalism.
The Santiago El Grande is on loan from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – here at The DalÍ for a limited time.