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Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali (Spanish, 1904-1989)
Santiago El Grande, 1957
oil on canvas
Gift of the Sir James Dunn Foundation
Santiago el Grande was painted by Salvador Dalí, a very strange and brilliant man with the oddest mustache I’ve ever seen.
It’s also a huge painting, which is why Lord Beaverbrook hosts all the resident meetings here. Once a month, he makes everyone who lives in the gallery come together and he tells us the latest gallery news or shares things he thinks we need to know – like when he told me I was about to be restored, which made me very cross, because when you get restored you get stuck in the workroom in the basement and someone scrapes and dabs at you and it’s so uncomfortable because you can’t move at all.
Besides holding meetings here, Lord Beaverbrook has somehow made it that the only way for residents to go to the galleries downstairs is to pass through Santiago el Grande. And to do that, you have to solve the riddle the horse asks you. Are you any good at riddles? I’m terrible at them. And that bossy horse won’t let you go unless you give it the right answer.
One last thing: Only the horse talks in this painting. No one knows why. Don’t even try to talk to the woman in the corner.