Glasgow has said a temporary ‘adios’ to what is considered the greatest work of art in its civic collection in Salvador Dalí's Christ of St John of The Cross.

For the next six months, the painting, which is valued at more than £60 million, will take pride of place at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Dalí’s home town of Figueres, in Catalonia, Spain.

The loan represents the first time it has gone on display in Spain since it was exhibited in Madrid and Barcelona at the 1st Biennial of Latin American Art in 1952.

The major new exhibition at the Dalí Theatre-Museum - where Dalí himself is buried in an unmarked crypt - is billed as the largest the museum has hosted since it opened in 1974.

READ MORE: Salvador Dalí masterpiece leaves Glasgow for six months to 'return home'

The exhibition also brings Dalí’s Christ of St John of The Cross - referred to as ‘El Cristo’ or ‘El Cristo de Portlligat’ in Spain - “into dialogue” with another of his principal works in The Bread Basket (1945). 

"When Dalí painted The Bread Basket, he already had Christ in his head”, said Montse Aguer, Director of the Dalí Museums and curator of the exhibition. 

In addition to the two works, the exhibition will display preparatory drawings and archival material - most of which have never been shown in public before - which delve into Dalí’s creative process and highlight the importance of the place where the painting was created, Dalí’s workshop in the Portlligat - the small coastal village where Dalí lived and worked from 1930 to 1982. 

The material has been uncovered thanks to research carried out at the museum, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

“Part of the exhibition is unpublished material that allows us to know the context of creation of Christ of St John of The Cross: five photographs, six pieces of preparatory material and a notebook with studies and sketches executed between the years 1948-1958”, the museum notes.

“The notebook is shown in its original format through a monitor. Also noteworthy are two audiovisual pieces of about six minutes in length that focus on the relevance of the context, creation process and the landscape.

“Christ of St John of The Cross is exhibited with an outstanding scenographic component to encourage contemplation of the painting.

“Dark red velvet curtains acquire special relevance because was the proposal for the exhibition that Dalí projected for the 1st Biennial of Latin American Art in 1952.”

READ MORE: Dalí masterpiece being loaned out 'with no tangible benefit' to Glasgow

In tandem with the exhibition, a new book titled ‘Why Dalí’? which investigates the reasons why Dalí created Christ of St John of The Cross, has also been published.

The book is a collaboration between the likes of writer Javier Sierra, painter Antonio López, Montse Aguer, Director of the Dalí Museums and curator of the exhibition and Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collections at Glasgow Life Museums.

While the museum hasn’t given any indication as to how popular they expect the temporary exhibition to be, a museum spokesperson told The Herald: “What we can say, though, is that visitors remain silent in front of the painting, which is something that doesn’t happen in front of any other work or art or room in the museum.”