National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

"The Divine Comedy" – exhibition of graphics by Salvador Dali

  • 01.03.2018

On March 1, the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus will present the exhibition of graphics by Salvador Dali – "The Divine Comedy".

The value of Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" for world culture can not be overestimated. However, not many people can say that they've read the book. The exhibition features illustrations of the "Divine Comedy" created by Salvador Dali to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri. These illustrations are an unique opportunity to experience the immortal book of Dante.

In 1965, the anniversary edition of Dante's Divine Comedy with illustrations by Salvador Dalí was published. For more than five years, the engraver Raymond Jacquet and his assistant had manually cut up over 3,500 boards, which were destroyed after the print run. Salvador Dali personally supervised the process of creating plates, checking and approving each of them. Work on woodcuts was completed in 1963, and a year later the "Divine Comedy" with illustrations by Dali was put to press.

The appearance of graphic works was preceded by a series of watercolors, which the Italian government ordered Dali in 1951 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante. The artist worked nine years and created one illustration for each thousand lines of the poet. True to his manner, Dali does not follow the text of the "Divine Comedy", but he is rather attracted to the fantastic elements in the descriptions of hell, purgatory and paradise. Although there was a general turn towards classics in the late 1930s, the artist nevertheless remained faithful to the surrealistic imagery and did not abandon the techniques that made him famous. He again uses a surrealistic dictionary, which he co–created.

One hundred original graphic works come from a private Italian collection. Engravings have the vivid colors, making graphics similar to painting. Dali’s illustrations of "Divine Comedy" are recognized as the best works of the artist in the field of book graphics and the best illustrations of Dante's immortal book. The title page of the "Divine Comedy" of 1965 with a ballpoint pen drawing and signature of Salvador Dali is a valuable supplement to the exhibition and collection

An educational accompanying program has been prepared for the exhibition: experts will talk about the legacy of Dante, read the Divine Comedy, watch films and lectures on the interpretation of the book in other arts, as well as the personality of Salvador Dali and the process of creating illustrations and more.

Ticket price:

Adults – 10 BYN

Students – 8 BYN

Schoolchildren, pensioners – 5 BYN

National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Minsk, K.Marx street, 12

Tel.: 327–43–22