Dalí, the artist, celebrity and cultural icon, was a leading force in the Surrealist movement, though many visitors may be surprised to see the enormous variety of his art here at the museum. His early works include landscapes portraits and still lifes, while later works capture fascinating double images and feature immense religious paintings. The artist also explored optical illusions, geometry and holography.
The museum houses some of the artist’s mammoth masterworks, along with books and seldom-seen sketches. In fact, of the 18 masterworks Dalí produced, eight are in the St. Pete museum, the most of any location. While you should take time to see everything, some of his most famous works include:
- The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1954) – This piece followed The Persistence of Memory, Dalí’s most famous painting with the “melting clocks” that hangs in New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
- Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (1976) – The lengthy name saves a lot of explaining. Up close, this appears to be a nude female figure gazing at a pixelated and fiery sea. Step back and it’s a classic portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
- Hallucinogenic Toreador (1970) – This is one of the massive, 13-foot paintings that dominate the museum’s walls. It begins as a vision of a bull and the Venus de Milo, but step back and the impression progressively changes.