Dali has found his way to St Petersburg. For a short period of time, his paintings will transform the Fabergé Museum into a different kind of art space. Prospekt got to look beyond the old melting clock
The Faberge Museum is both old and new these days. First you enter the extravagant halls of the Shuvalov Palace and are surrounded by meticulously crafted jewellery, porcelain tins and ornate Fabergé eggs. Fabergé’s work looks like it was made to be shown in such ballrooms. If you keep on walking (we highly recommend doing it in this order), you will enter the confusing world of one of the most renowned painters of the 20th century. Next to marble columns, under the light of huge chandeliers, you will see colourful nudes, doomsday scenery, and holographic landscapes. And yes, there is a painting showing the famous melting clocks, which Dali is best known for. However, the focus lies somewhere else. “Salvador Dali was not just a surrealist. After his break with the surrealists, he dedicated his work to honour the artists of the Italian Renaissance. His return to classicism and admiration for grand masters like Michelangelo or Cellini are the main themes of this exhibition,” says Juan Manuel Sevillano, director of the Gala Salvador Dali foundation.
Even though the art pieces fall under classicism, they still clash with the palace’s interior. So, why host a Dali exhibition here? “Dali and Fabergé just go well together. Fabergé was of Baltic origin, received his education in Germany, and then came back to St Petersburg. Then we have Dali, who had great admiration for Italian artists and whose wife and muse, Gala, was Russian. It’s important to know that no artist works in isolation. They are all representatives of humankind and have a connection to each other,” says Christopher Forbes, a member of the Fabergé Museum board.
Where: Fabergé Museum, 21, Fontanka River Embankment, St Petersburg, 191023
When: From 1 April to 2 July 2017
Price: Combination ticket – 700 roubles