Christ Crucifixion Hypercube

and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8-9)

Salvador Dali's Crucifixion Hypercube

Salvador Dali’s Crucifixion Hypercube

…may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—(Ephesians 3:18)

*****

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto

Dali i Domènech

(5/11/1904 – 1/23/1989)

I saw the image of Salvador Dali’s Crucifixion Hypercube (1954 oil on canvas painting)  for the first time a few weeks ago and became fascinated with the concept of the Cross being depicted in the form of *hypercube.

Salvador Dali’s Life

The Spaniard, Salvador Dali’s life is, in itself by 20th century jargon, considered bizarre but I would use genius because of the level of his artistic and mathematical talents.  I wondered what spiritual concept motivated and inspired him to paint the Crucifixion Hypercube and why in a cubist form?

According to the many articles and videos (including his biography in video form), Salvador Dali was a Catholic but in one article, by his own admission, he didn’t experience any supernatural event.

In fact, he was quite frightful of death. When interviewed by Mike Wallace  on his television show 60 Minutes, Dalí kept referring to himself in the third person, and told the startled Wallace matter-of-factly that he did not believe in his death.  (That’s because he feared death and didn’t want to face its eventuality.)

In the drawing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Dali inscribed: “Sometimes, I spit for fun on my mother’s portrait”.

Known for his flamboyant, cavalieristic behavior (haughty, disdainful, or supercilious: an arrogant attitude toward others), undoubtedly inspired by his uncontrolled creativity, causes a stir in the art world not understood by many or even by those who knew him personally.

Salvador Dali’s artistic endeavors were  concentrated and influenced by three artistic movements:

  • Cubism:  (early 20th century art movement, included pioneer Pablo Picasso.  In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context),
  • Dada:  (involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theater, and graphic design), and
  • Surrealism:  (style of art and literature developed principally in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions, etc)

So why the Hypercube?  Dali combined all three of these artistic movements in developing the hypercube cross concept.  He also involved his knowledge in mathematics with his understanding of the scientific dimensions of space (width, length, depth and height).

*Hypercube

The most striking change Dali makes from nearly every other crucifixion painting concerns the cross. Instead of painting Christ on a wooden cross, Dali depicts him upon the net of a hypercube, also known as a tesseract. The unfolding of a tesseract into eight cubes is analogous to unfolding the sides of a cube into six squares. The use of a hypercube for the cross has been interpreted as a geometric symbol for the transcendental nature of  God. Just as God exists in a space that is incomprehensible to humans, the hypercube exists in four spatial dimensions, which is equally inaccessible to the mind. The net of the hypercube is a three-dimensional representation of it, similar to how Christ is a human form of God that is more relatable to people. The word “corpus” in the title can refer both to the body of Christ and to geometric figures, reinforcing the link Dali makes between religion and mathematics and science. Christ’s levitation above the Earth could symbolize His rise above Earthly desire and suffering. The motif of the cube is present elsewhere: Gala is standing on one and the chessboard is made up of squares. (source:  Wikipedia)

Salvador Dali  “was sustained by a belief that science and religion were not enemies, that man’s discovery of the atomic nature of the universe proved the existence of God.” (source:  BBC documentary).

By all accounts, Salvador Dali believed in God but had problems with his faith.  Salvador Dali did not have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, at least it’s not even known to him how to have a relationship.  He believed his life was like the rhythm of an atomic explosion–a one new kind of nuclear atomic mysticism.

Dimension:

  • …may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—(Ephesians 3:18)
1. Mathematics .
a. a property of space; extension in a given direction: A straight line has one dimension, a parallelogram  has two dimensions, and a parallelepiped has three dimensions.
b. the generalization of this property to spaces with curvilinear extension, as the surface of a sphere.
c. the generalization of this property to vector spaces and to Hilbert space.
d. the generalization of this property to fractals, which can have dimensions that are noninteger real numbers.
e.  extension in time: Space-time has three dimensions of space and one of time.

2. Usually, dimensions.

a. measurement in length, width, and thickness.
b. scope; importance: the dimensions of a problem.
3. unit.
4. magnitude; size: Matter has dimension.

5. Topology.

a. a magnitude that, independently or in conjunction with other such magnitudes, serves to define the location of an element within a given set, as of a point on a line, an object in a space, or an event in space-time.
b. the number of elements in a finite basis of a given vector space.

Earlier in his life, Dali in 1931 created an oil on canvas painting “The Persistence of Memory,” illustrating his innate understanding of space and time.  This painting

Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory

Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory

shows melting clocks reflective that time is limitless relative to creation.

  • and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8-9)

Critics:

Salvador Dali was not without his critics, especially from the religious community who spoke out in dismay that Dali had failed to depict Christ at His worst moment in history, bloodless, without showing any agony, the lack of bruising, lacking thorns on His head and no nails on his arms and legs, hanging desperately from the Cross taking on humanities frailties of sin upon His person. Dali instead shows the Lamb, Jesus Christ, in His beauty, without blemish, free from sin and time:
  • Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. (Exodus 12:5)
  • but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:19)
Personally, I believe Dali, believing only in his imagination, didn’t understand that his imagination was fueled by the Lord God, Jesus Christ, into creating this painting.  Dali was and is correct to show Christ bloodless and in all His glory and beauty because Christ is indeed, alive and well, having suffered for humanity, that all who believe in Him would come to the saving knowledge that Jesus Christ is the son of and sitting at the right hand of the Father God, willing and able to save all those who call upon His name and enter into His eternal Kingdom in Heaven.
I was left with wonderment that God in all His creation, created space and time with its various elements of dimension.  At last editing I was reading about the ten dimensions with more dimensions not yet understood by me.  That’s quantum physics and beyond my level of understanding but admiring all those people who are gifted in the area of higher level of math, i.e.,  geometry, trigonometry, the laws and formulas of quantum physics.

Salvador Dali –

Crucifixion –

four-dimensional attempt to render the tesserakt  

Blessings,

______________________________

Ms. Mary Pacheco,

aka: SeashoreMary

Christian Author, Website Designer,  Website Consultant

Corpus Christi Website Designs   Youtube Channel   Abide In Me   Twitter

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6 thoughts on “Christ Crucifixion Hypercube

  1. Intriguing! You post a fascinating subject that has wrung my intellect dry for further enlightenment. Creation . . .time. . . space. One cannot fathom those depths very far. Thank you for this very special post!

  2. Well my goodness Mary! 🙂
    Talk about something foreign, but interesting, you’ve certainly done that! I do believe our God loves numbers and uses them continually. This artist Dali is really different and my mind won’t allow me to go where his did. 🙂
    Yours in Christ Jesus,
    Lily

    • Hello Lily my friend.

      Dali, the Artist, was simply too much for me to overlook or ignore his works. I loved journeying into his artistic works, particularly his unknown walk with Christ that really intrigued me.

      To say that his artistry is shabby or second class is just not true. His work is superb!

      Thanks for reading this article.

      Always your friend,

      Mary

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