Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spain in Russia: 105 Dali "Sacra Biblia" lithos open May Day at the Radischev Museum in Saratov

Vanitas Vanitatum, Salvador Dali, Sacra Biblia

Former Soviet-era biology teacher, Alexander Shadrin, who fell in love with Salvador Dali (his works), purchasing all 105 of the artist's only hand-signed Bible illustrations (Sacra Biblia), shares them with the public for the first time starting May Day in Saratov.

Shadrin, now a successful south Urals businessman from Yekaterinburg, loaned them to the Radischev Art Museum in Saratov through 13 Jan. 2012, according to Voice of Russia.

Shadrin acquired the Sacra Biblia from an Italian collector, Roberto Mastella after lengthy negotiations (1998 - 2005).

Mastella bought them from Guiseppe Albaretto, Dali's friend and collector.

This show adds traction to "Spain in Russia and Russia in Spain," a cross-cultural 12-month series of happenings, which started 25 Feb. with a red-carpet kick-off ceremony at the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, attended by Spain's King Juan Carlos and Russian Federation President Dmitri Medvedev.

The Sacra  Biblia lithographs were authenticated by Bernard Ewell, Dali expert and appraiser of the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Fl., Albert Field (official archivist and Dali handwriting expert), and Dr. Mara Albaretto Berio, widow of Albaretto.

Sacra Biblia, Salvador Dali
Funny thing: Albaretto thought by drawing Dali into the Bible, gospel by gospel, illustration by illustration, the artist, not always a staunch Catholic, might find redemption through the commission, which spanned 1963 -1969.

Whether Dali became born-again following this commission remains fodder for discussion.

Shadrin's Dali works on loan also include graphics, tapestries and original sculptures. 

Tamara Viktorovna Grodskova, the Radischev's director and curator of the exhibit, said until this Dali show, most if not all of Russia's art museums remain Dali-devoid.

Thanks to Shadrin and a capitalist-driven, post-Soviet Russia, that's all going to change. (Saratov was one of the USSR's city's off-limits to foreigners and many Russians.)

The Dali collection will take legs and travel to 12 other venues after closing in Saratov on 13 Jan. 2012.

Ex Aeghypto, Sacra Biblia, Salvador Dali

Rock on and practice peace and love,

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." Jimmy Hendrix.

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM).

Considering a walking holiday in our Andalusian mountains? A week-long sculpture or mosaics workshop near Competa taught by a maestro? See: and

Joost & Moria Schepel, principals of & Photo by Stefan van Drake.

If you like dogs, you will appreciate this ArtTraveler video shot last year in Charlotte, North Carolina in an arts barrio, in a bar dedicated to canines and of course, their owners and friends. 

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