There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Salvador Dali. The Catalan painter passed away in 1989, but he remains one of the most famous names in the art world. St. Petersburg boasts the Salvador Dali Museum, home to 96 oil paintings; 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures; and more than 100 watercolors and drawings. Additionally, the museum also contains 7 of Dali’s 18 “masterworks,” which are defined as paintings measuring over 5 feet in any dimension (length, width…) and requiring more than a year to complete. The 7 Dali masterworks are the most of any museum in the world. In fact, apart from his hometown, St. Petersburg has more Dali works on display than any other city in the world.
The Salvador Dali Museum’s Most Famous Works
The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus: This colossal oil painting, commissioned by Huntington Hartford for his Gallery of Modern Art in New York, spans 161 1/2” x 122 1/8” (around 13.5’ x 10’). While Columbus discovered America, Dali found fame and fortune in America. In fact, if you look at the bottom of the canvas, you’ll notice a monk with a crucifix. That’s Salvador Dali stepping onto American soil. Dali firmly believed that Christopher Columbus was, like him, a Catalan (not an Italian), and both rose to prominence thanks to their arrival to America.
The Hallucinogenic Toreador: This is another of Dali’s massive oil paintings, spanning 157” x 118”, and requiring over 16 months to create. It’s also a fine example of Dali’s double-images: paintings that can be viewed in two different ways. In the foreground, the viewer sees a row of Venus de Milo images clad in different colored skirts. The toreador (bullfighter) is a bit more difficult to spot. His green tie, white shirt, and black coat form the Venus de Milos’ skirts, and his face forms their bodies. It’s a staggering work, both for its size and creativity.
The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory: This small painting (10” x 13”) is one of Dali’s famous “melting clock” images. Dali’s most-recognized work (as implied by the title) has a similar theme: The Persistence of Memory. Reportedly, the “melting clock” image came to Dali after observing a piece of camembert cheese melting on a table, which reminded him of a clock.
The Salvador Dali Museum also hosts a number of events. Interested parties may attend performances, workshops, lectures, films, and much more. On Sundays, you can even try your hand (and feet) at Yoga + Dali: a weekly yoga class infused with Dali’s energy and overlooking St. Petersburg’s beautiful waterfront.
The Museum is open from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Friday through Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Ticket prices are as follows:
- General Admission (18-64): $24
- Seniors (65+): $22
- Military, Police, Firefighters & Educators (with IDs): $22
- Students (18+): $17
- Students (13-17): $17
- Children (6-12): $10
- Children (5 and younger): FREE
- After 5 p.m. on Thursday (Adults, Seniors, and College Students): $10
- After 5 p.m. on Thursday (Students 13-17): $10
- After 5 p.m. on Thursday (Children 6-12): $8
Come see some of the most spectacular works by one of the 20th century’s master painters. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
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