The Dalí Museum Juxtaposes Salvador Dalí’s Work with Impressionist Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

September 6, 2023

Dalí’s paintings will be viewed alongside Monet, Degas, Renoir and More

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — In a stunning survey of Impressionist masters, The Dalí Museum reveals Salvador Dalí’s artistic foundations in “Dalí & the Impressionists: Monet, Degas, Renoir & More.” On view Nov. 18, 2023-April 28, 2024, the exhibition is produced in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), one of the preeminent collections of French Impressionism in the U.S. Many of the pieces on display will be on view for the first time in the state of Florida, offering a rare opportunity to view these French Impressionist masterpieces.

Paintings from The Dalí Museum are paired with Impressionist works from the MFA to demonstrate the range and depth of the artist’s engagement with the movement. Landscapes, seascapes, still lifes and portraits by Salvador Dalí are grouped with similar compositions by Impressionists and other 19th and early 20th century artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley, Maxime Maufra, Johan Barthold Jongkind, Armand Guillaumin, Jean-François Raffaëlli, Jean-François Millet, Camille Corot, Edouard Vuillard, Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and Georges Rouault.

“Art is a continuum of human response to the experience of living, and no art is free from the influences of past artists or affection for them,” said Hank Hine, director of The Dalí. “Dalí was inspired by many of the artists on view in this remarkable exhibition, offering a deeper understanding of a key moment of his artistic journey.”

In his early years, Dalí was highly aware of the work of the Impressionists and used them as a reference point. From 1918-1924, Dalí embraced the Impressionist approach marking the little-known initiation of his evolving painting style. By probing the formative role of Dalí’s early engagement with the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work that came to his attention in his youth, The Dalí looks to explore the gap between Impressionism and Surrealism approaches to art and life that overlapped in the history of the 20th century. Seemingly worlds apart, Surrealists sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind while Impressionists attempted to portray the reality of contemporary life in terms of transient effects of light and color. Though the two methods may seem at odds, they both relied on painterly representations to create a compelling sense of lived experience.

The Impressionist work that Dalí would have seen in the art publications available in Barcelona in his youth constituted the avant-garde work of the time, and he took it as his first measure of exploration. Other avant-garde styles — Cubism, Anti-Art and Surrealism — rapidly gained Dalí’s attention. His affinity for Impressionism persisted in his affection for the land of Emporia, the Costa Brava landscape in which he was born. As Dalí probed the discontinuities and paradoxes of lived experience, his explorations on the deep perspectives and distant mountains of his homeland became synonymous with the landscape of the surreal.

“We are profoundly grateful for the generosity of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and its trustees,” said Hine. “The enthusiastic spirit of the director and MFA staff have enabled this exhibition. We look forward to sharing these iconic artists’ works with our community and witnessing the dialogue that will occur by presenting them with Dalí.”

As part of the exhibition, The Dalí’s “YOUR PORTRAIT” artificial intelligence (AI) experience will allow guests to transform their photo into a one-of-a-kind Impressionist work of art. “YOUR PORTRAIT” first debuted with Cubist-style self-portraits during the Museum’s special exhibition Picasso and the Allure of the South in 2022 and returns to further visitors understanding of the Impressionism genre. Guests will gain insight into the textures, color and light often associated with the movement while awaiting their unique artistic image.

“Dalí & the Impressionists: Monet, Degas, Renoir & More” is co-produced by The Dalí Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is curated by William Jeffett, The Dalí Museum’s chief curator, and will be on view only at The Dalí Museum. A full-color catalog with contributions from Hine and Jeffett will accompany the exhibition.

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About The Dalí Museum

The Dalí Museum, located in picturesque downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., is home to one of the most acclaimed collections of a single modern artist in the world, with over 2,400 works representing every moment and medium of Salvador Dalí’s creative life. The Dalí is recognized internationally by the Michelin Guide with a three-star rating; has been deemed “one of the top buildings to see in your lifetime” by AOL Travel News; and was named one of the 10 most interesting museums in the world by Architectural Digest. The Dalí’s acclaimed digital experiences have received numerous national and international awards for creative innovation. The Museum is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve Dalí’s legacy for generations to come and serve as an active resource in the cultural life of the community and the world at large. The Dalí is open daily, located at One Dalí Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33701. For more information, visit TheDali.org or download the free Dalí Museum App

About the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA brings many worlds together through art. Showcasing masterpieces from ancient to modern, our renowned collection of nearly 500,000 works tells a multifaceted story of the human experience—a story that holds unique meaning for everyone. From Boston locals to international travelers, visitors from all over come to experience the MFA—where they reveal connections, explore differences and create a community where all belong. Open six days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Monday, 10 am–5 pm; Wednesday,10 am–5 pm; and Thursday–Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Plan your visit at mfa.org.

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Emma F. Caro
Blue Water Communications
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