In 1951, the great Spanish artist Salvador Dali set out to depict the crucifixion of Christ in a way no other person had.
In the image, Christ is affixed to the cross, yet there are no nails. His body is twisted and head is bowed, yet the scene is utterly tranquil. The cross is aloft and cross looks down on a compressed panorama of clouds, mountains, and a sea. High above the earth, it is almost as if Christ is encompassing the world in the embrace of his arms, stretched out like the wings of a magnificent eagle.
Dali’s painting may depart from the literal, historical accounts of the crucifixion, but it testifies to a great spiritual truth. One Catholic writer explains it this way:
Dali has removed the nails from Christ’s hands and feet—and by sheer use of colour gives the impression that the limbs of the cross are reaching out across all time and space—across the face of the earth. It is as if the painting is teaching us that there is no limit to the span of Christ’s love, neither in the breadth or in depth of how God loves.
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