Salvador Dali: The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Dec 13, 2022 — Mar 11, 2023

Salvador Dalí is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. His fiercely technical yet highly unusual paintings, sculptures, graphic works, photography, and film cemented him as one of the major figures of the Surrealist movement of the 20th Century.

About the Exhibition

Dalí’s work investigated dreams, the subconscious, and sexuality and often reflected his deep interest in religion and science.

Judeo-Christian iconography can be found across Dalí’s entire body of work, particularly after the 1940s when he began to embrace his Catholic roots. Dalí utilized familiar Biblical symbols as well as more incongruous, personally meaningful imagery. One of his most visually appealing and imaginative religious works is the Twelve Tribes of Israel portfolio from 1973. The series was completed in drypoint, a technique nearly identical to engraving, and hand-colored. The portfolio and commemorative coins represent the Biblical tribes founded by the twelve sons of Jacob.

Dalí drew inspiration for the imagery in each print from the Blessing of Jacob, a prophetic poem found in Genesis, as well as Judaic texts which describe the flags and emblems representative of each tribe. Dalí infused each work with his own poetic imagery and bright, unnatural colors making the print series a unique portrayal of the significant Jewish story.