Collection: The Shape of Dreams

Salvador Dalí Museum

November 25, 2022 – April 30, 2023

The Shape of Dreams explores 500 years of dream-inspired paintings from the 16th to 20th century, demonstrating how artists throughout time have depicted a profound yet universal phenomenon of human experience — the dream. The exhibition will examine how Western artists have depicted dreams for very different audiences throughout time, exploring the continuity and disconnections between the past and present.

The exhibition features a selection of art on loan from American institutions, including the National Gallery of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, The New Orleans Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Chicago Art Institute and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Several works from The Dalí’s permanent collection are placed in dialog with these works. The exhibition includes some reproductions to ensure visitors can experience the essential images to our curated story of dreams.

Drawing on the irony that dreams are an intense visual sensation most often taking place when the eyes are closed, the exhibition inspires questions about the very nature of reality and encourages viewers to examine dreams through different lenses — psychological, religious and metaphysical. Works by Frida Kahlo, Paul Delvaux, Pat Steir, Philip Guston, Max Beckmann, Lodovico Carracci and Odilon Redon, many of which are monumental canvases, address manners of representation and consider how the waking world influences the dream. The exhibition seeks to understand how these artistic expressions shape our imaginations.

10 products
A Measure of Dreams by Arthur Bowen Davies
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The Dream by Odilon Redon
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Jacob's Dream by Domenico Fetti
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A Painter's Dream by Thomas Buchanan Read
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The Knight's Dream by Antonio de Pereda y Salgado
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The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Lodovico Carracci
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Diana and Endymion by Luca Giordano
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Orpheus leading Eurydice from the Underworld by Jean-Baptiste Corot
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St Jerome in the Desert by Joachim Patinir
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The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli
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