OIL PAINTING: Christ of St. John of the Cross, 1951
By far the most popular of all Dali's religious paintings is without a doubt his Christ of Saint John of the Cross, whose figure dominates the Bay of Port Lligat. The painting was inspired by a drawing, preserved in the Convent of the Incarnation in Avila, Spain, and done by Saint John if the Cross himself after he had seen this vision of Christ during ecstasy. The people beside the boat are derived from a picture by Le Nain and from drawing by Velazquez for The Surrender of Breda.
Dali recreates the style of the Spanish painter
Francisco de Zurbaran (1596-1044 ),
based on a drawing made by the Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross, which broke with traditional images of the Crucifixion by showing it from
above. Dali used a Hollywood stuntman to make preliminary studies from life for his version,
which has become one of his most famous works, although coolly received at the time.