Two names that need no introduction: Sigmund Freud and Salavdor Dalí. An exhibition in Lower Belvedere’s Orangery focuses on the impact of the former on the art of the latter.
- Explores some of the influences on Dalí’s work, particularly the relationship between psychoanalysis and surrealism
- Also examines the 1938 meeting between Freud and Dalí
- Runs Jan 28 – May 29, 2022
- See also:
- Current Lower Belvedere exhibition & ticket info
- Selected past Belvedere exhibitions
- Current modern art exhibitions in Vienna
(Salvador Dalí, Remorse. Sphinx Embedded in the Sand, 1931; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University; © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí / Bildrecht, Wien 2021)
Confronted with the surrealist art of Dalí, many of us wonder at his likely inspiration and influences. Some answers arrive through the Dalí-Freud exhibition at the Orangery in Lower Belvedere palace, which features dozens of paintings, documents, photos and other Dalí-related items.
The exhibition highlights, for example, Dalí’s family background and his encounters with great thinkers and creators like his close friend, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca (who has his own special Viennese connection).
Or Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the medical science pioneer whose work on the nervous system earned a Nobel Prize in 1906, and whose illustrations of nerve structures inspired Dalí.
The main focus though is the influence of Sigmund Freud and the development of psychoanalysis.
Dalí consumed much of Freud’s writing in the years immediately preceding his move into surrealism: Freudian ideas, symbolism and imagery found their way into many of the works of those in the surrealist movement.
Dalí himself wrote in the 1950s:
In the Surrealist period, I wanted to create the iconography of the interior world and the world of the marvelous, of my father Freud
The exhibition also covers the only meeting between Freud and Dalí in the summer of 1938, organised by the Austrian writer, Stefan Zweig. Dalí brought along his Metamorphosis of Narcissus, painted the previous year and now part of the Tate art collection.
(Dalí sold the painting to Edward James, who also had a part in that meeting.)
The father of psychoanalysis had a less-than-stellar opinion of surrealists, but it seems he revised his opinion after the encounter. Freud wrote:
That young Spaniard, however, with his candid and fanatical eyes, and his undeniable technical mastery, has made me reconsider my opinion
For his part, Dalí made three sketches of Freud and went on to produce a portrait that now greets you at the top of the stairs in the latter’s former London home (now a Freud Museum and the site of that historical meeting).
Tickets and dates
Explore the connections between Dalí, Freud, surrealism, and psychoanalysis from January 28th to May 29th, 2022. A ticket to Lower Belvedere includes all the exhibitions within the complex.
Another exhibition starting a little later in the main building is Viva Venezia, which looks at the role of art in creating the myth of Venice and explores the association between Austria and the lagoon city.
For more psychoanalysis, drop into Vienna’s Sigmund Freud Museum. The permanent exhibition there has numerous themed displays examining various aspects of Freud’s life. The address on Berggasse is, of course, where Freud and family lived for over 40 years.
How to get to the exhibition
Follow the directions for Belvedere. You want the Lower Belvedere palace. Go through the staterooms in the west wing to reach the former orangery, home to the Dalí – Freud exhibition.
Address: Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna