Inside the insights

The Lower Belvedere celebrates its reopening with the exhibition Dalí - Freud. An Obsession. Following the renovation work in the Baroque building, we learn what happens when psychoanalysis meets Surrealism. The focus is on two enfants terribles of the 20th century: Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí.

London, autumn 1938. The first and only meeting of two legends was arranged by Stefan Zweig and Edward James: between Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the psychoanalyst who fled Vienna, and Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), the Spanish painter. A meeting that left deep tracks in art history. Dalí, a pioneer of Surrealism and ardent admirer of Freud, studied the latter's writings in the early 1920s. Influenced by his theories and perspectives, Dalí increasingly dealt with the poetics of Surrealism and subsequently developed his own unmistakable, new imagery, which went on to make him and his oeuvre world-famous. Dalí was regularly inspired by trendsetting encounters: In addition to Freud, his muses also included the poet Federico García Lorca, the filmmaker Luis Buñuel and the histologist and Nobel Prize winner Santiago Ramón y Cajal. The artist also dealt intensively and psychoanalytically with his youth, subsequently letting his findings flow into his art.

Surrealism and psychoanalysis, two of perhaps the most important movements of the 20th century, meet each other in the exhibition "Dalí - Freud. An Obsession". Typical of both? – The subconscious and the dream play central roles here. The Lower Belvedere shows around 100 works by the great Surrealist, including paintings, sculptures, letters, periodicals, photographs, films and books, which support Freud's influence on Dalí's œuvre. Also presented are new research findings which are intended to show how surrealist art took up and cast light on the relationship 
The exhibition was already planned for autumn 2020, before the pandemic threw the program into chaos. Now the first show in the reopened Lower Belvedere marks the start to a Viennese year of art packed with highlights. The former summer residence of Prince Eugene on Rennweg, an imposing part of the Baroque palace complex of the Belvedere, opens its magnificent gates to museum visitors again following a general refurbishment. The building and its wonderful staterooms were completed in 1716 and have been brought up to date with international museum standards. The installation of a café as well as the renovation and improvement of accessibility and technology ensure a museum experiences of the very highest quality. 

Dalí - Freud. An Obsession
February 1 – May 29, 2022


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