Melting clocks, melting pocket watches to be exact. A yellow, blue sky over a large body of water next to a cliff. The body of water is very still; it has no movement. It is based off of a seaside in his original home of Catalonia, Spain. There is a long rectangle next to this water. Ants cover one of the pocket watches. The one pocket watch that does not appear to be melting as the other three are. There is a large unknown box with a tree branch on top of it. And something else unknown draped across the ground with what appears to be long eye lashes. This is what makes up the Persistence of Memory.
This paper will be examining many different aspects of this painting. This painting was created by a man named Salvador Dali. Salvador Dali was born in Spain on May 11, 1904. His whole life was based around some form of art. He started with just drawing but then moved into painting. But Dali was not only a painter but he also dabbled in film, sculpture, writing, and photography. He published quite a few books including his autobiography called The Secret Life of Salvador Dali. He even helped to create a short film with Walt Disney called Destino. Dali played around with cubism style.
Pablo Picasso influenced this. But he is best known for his strange surrealist work. He studied drawing and painting during his life. Dali believed he was a genius and seemed to stated it quite often. Later in life when Dali was no longer interested in surrealism, he created some religious artworks. There were not very many things that were art related in some sort that he was not interested in. Dali’s last painting was called The Swallow’s Tail. Dali did quite a lot before he died on January 23, 1989. The painting was completed in 1931. It resides in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
It was given to the museum as a gift in 1934. The museum has on display 11 other works of Dali’s. The museum has 41 of Dali’s painting for viewing online. Dali’s paintings are all not in one specific place. They are actually spread throughout the world ranging from Spain to New York to the UK. Dali has his own museum dedicated to him in St. Petersburg, Florida. It has the largest collection of his world outside of Europe. This artwork is from the surrealism period and is one of the most famous paintings from this period. Surrealism began between World War I and World War II.
Surrealism involves artists expressing themselves through experimentation of the subconscious imagination. Surrealists were influenced by Sigmund Freud. Freud had many theories about the unconscious mind and this captivated the artists. Freud believed that many thoughts and feelings were buried in the unconscious mind and the surrealists liked this idea and thought they needed to be freed. The surrealists focused on dreams and their meanings. Everything had a deeper meaning than what was just originally shown. But Dali himself once stated “The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.
Salvador Dali also created more than just paintings during the surrealist period he also created sculptures. The two most popular being the Lobster Telephone and Mae West Lips Sofa. Surrealism can further be divided into two separate types. Abstract and figurative surrealism. Abstract surrealism is based on chance and uses abstract images. It does not tend to represent anything and is not based of any sort of reality. Figurative surrealism is strange. Things are put together like a dream and do not tend to make complete sense. Although its intention is not to make sense. It has some ties to reality and things that actually exist.
It is created through the subconscious mind. Figurative surrealism is the type that Dali used and what he is known for. Dali would use something he created called the paranoiac-critical method. He would self-induce hallucinations to access the subconscious mind. This helped him to create art more easily. He basically made himself super paranoid which helped him to create the specific type of art that he wanted to. Dali was very dedicated to his surrealism work. Dali’s painting the Metamorphosis of Narcissus was the first to come entirely from this rather strange method. Persistence of Memory measures 9 ? 13 inches (24. 1 x 33cm. )
It is an oil painting on canvas. It may not be a large painting but it tells a large unknown story. The Museum of Modern Art states that “Time is the theme here, from the melting watches to the decay implied by the swarming ants. ” Time has no meaning in this painting. Some believe that this painting has something to do with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity while others believe it depicts a state of dreaming. It is truthfully unknown what exactly this artwork is specifically supposed to mean and can be interpreted in many different ways. Dali himself never explained his work.
Dali has a work similar to the Persistence of Memory it is called the Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory. It looks identical to the original but everything is now underwater. There is even a fish added to the water. There is a fourth melting pocket watch and the floor that looked like sand before has now turned into brick shaped objects. Some say that this painting marked Dali’s loss of interest in surrealism. But what is the true meaning of this painting? Some say this painting represents Dali’s new fascination with nuclear physics. This painting is located in the Dali Museum in Florida.
The Persistence of Memory is an interesting painting with not much of story. The only stories are hypothetical ones that we will never truly know if they are correct. It is a painting that leaves a lot of questions that will also never have a real answer. It leaves the mind to imagine what it actually means. Quite a few historians seem to think the painting has a deep meaning but what if it does not? What if it is what it is? What does this work of art really mean? Everyone can look at this painting and they call all take away a different meaning. The Persistence of Memory can be interpreted in many different ways.